the Python Foundation

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Wed Mar 24 22:09:09 CET 2010

On 2010-03-24 15:50 PM, Mark Tarver wrote:
>> From the website
> The Python Software Foundation (PSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
> corporation that
> holds the intellectual property rights behind the Python programming
> language. We manage the open source licensing for Python version 2.1
> and later and own and protect the trademarks associated with Python.
> Could somebody explain 'what holding the intellectual property rights'
> means in this context and in what sense PSF manages the licensing and
> protects the trademarks associated with Python?   This is for my
> education.

The PSF owns the Python language trademark:

Its trademark policy is given in detail here:

It also controls the license of the Python interpreter and its surrounding code. 
Contributors license their code to the PSF. Contributors keep the copyright to 
their code, but they agree to give the PSF the right to distribute it under a 
different license if the PSF decides to change licenses. See the Contributor 

I believe they also outright own the copyright to most of the code that was in 
the Python 2.1 release and up until this Contributor Agreement was set up. I 
could be wrong about that, though.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco

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