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Re: License DSFG-free?

Brian M. Carlson <sandals@crustytoothpaste.ath.cx>:

> > |You can do whatever you like with this package.  The code is placed
> > |at the public domain.
> Public domain is free. One manpage calls it something like "the only
> true free".


> > |This package is distributed in a hope it will be useful, but
> > |WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
> However, because a program that is in the public domain has no copyright
> (and can therefore have no license), you cannot technically disclaim
> warranty. Well, you can, but you do not have the option of saying, "If
> you do not accept the fact there is no warranty, you cannot use the
> program", as in the GPL, MIT, BSD, Apache, or other licenses.

Where do you get that from? I thought those licences say that you
cannot remove the disclaimer when you redistribute the code, and you
must make recipients aware of the disclaimer:

"provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each
copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty" (GPL)

"when started running for such interactive use in the most ordinary
way, to print or display an announcement including an appropriate
copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty" (GPL)

"Redistributions ... must reproduce ... the following disclaimer"

I have always assumed that the idea was that if the author didn't put
such conditions in the licence, and if someone redistributed the code
without the disclaimer to someone whose dog died as a result of using
the program, then the author might be found to be negligent. It seems
a bit far-fetched, but perhaps it makes sense in some jurisdictions,
and I can understand why it's worth being careful when the copyright
holder is an organisation with lots of money (such as MIT). When the
author is a private person and not a millionaire, there's probably not
much practical difference between a BSD-style licence and public
domain. Perhaps it is mostly just tradition that makes the former so
much more popular than the latter.


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