[linux-elitists] California Copyleft Research Initiative of 2001

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Sun Jul 1 22:57:20 PDT 2001


> > (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
> existence.
 
Yeah, I know what it *means* as opposed to *what I think it was Supposed
To Mean*.  That's called "opinion", which I get to express.  

Thus I'm aware that declaring The Taxpaying Public At Large to be the copyright
holder of record for a thing (see Seth's much better rant on that) has ...
shall we say, curious implications, but only if applied correctly.

> 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.

Therefore it's much better to strongly and loudly assert your status as 
Copyright Holder and then state your intent for the thing to remain more
intensely free than average.

c.f GPL, artistic, others.

  . | .   Heather Stern                  |         star@starshine.org
--->*<--- Starshine Technical Services - * - consulting@starshine.org
  ' | `   Sysadmin Support and Training  |        (800) 938-4078



More information about the linux-elitists mailing list