[linux-elitists] California Copyleft Research Initiative of 2001

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Sun Jul 1 16:00:01 PDT 2001

begin  Heather quotation:
> "fair" unless defined, is merely pleasant buzz.  Hmm.  I recently
> commented to someone (don't recall who, now) about how Public Domain
> (in my not-a-lawyer opinion) was supposed to be, the copyright holder
> of this item is now The Public.

Quibble:  That's not what "public domain" means.  Public domain (in the
USA) refers to creative works whose copyright has expired, or which by
law were never copyrightable (such as some but not all works
commissioned by federal funding, but not works commissioned by states or
their subdivisions).  Given USA copyright-expiration terms, that means 
approximately zero public domain software has so far come into

The wording of copyright law does not support the notion of destroying a
copyright by act of will (and certainly not via a licence statement), so
a copyright-owner's licence purporting to place his work "in the public
domain" is best viewed as an irrevocable grant of blanket public access
to the copy so designated.

Cheers,         (Regarding "In God we trust":)  "Don't ask me how you set the
Rick Moen       trust-level of a god."  "At a PGP signing party?"
rick@linuxmafia.com        -- Per Leijonhufvud & Peter de Silva, in ASR

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