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Re: license =? copyright

On Monday 03 February 2003 08:21 pm, Antoine Mathys wrote:
> On the other hand, I found that in a package I am interested in (it 's 
> already done BTW), Otter :
>        http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/AR/otter/legal.html

This software is public domain. It's funded on government grant, and the 
copyright holder explicitly disclaims any rights in the work. It is yours to 
do with as you please.  The main legal force of this statement is to tell you 
they aren't going to be held legally responsible for it (no warranty).  Which 
you knew anyway.

The "license" is somewhat immaterial -- it simply describes US government 
policy regarding work done on government contract.  You can rely on that more 
firmly than the actual text of the license (which is worded funny, but 
appears to me to mean the right thing).  If I take a government contract to 
develop software, it is understood that I can't claim any copyright in it.  
Government contracts are supposed to enrich the public domain, not subsidize 
monopolies.  Unless the contract has some special provision for allowing me 
to retain copyright (some of them do, but it's difficult to get those terms), 
then this general rule applies.


Terry Hancock ( hancock at anansispaceworks.com )
Anansi Spaceworks  http://www.anansispaceworks.com

"Some things are too important to be taken seriously"

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