[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Some licensing questions regarding celestia

Quoting Branden Robinson (branden@debian.org):

> Okay.  I mostly concur with Don Armstrong's challenges to this, but I
> have one more add.

IANAL, but, when I posted my analysis of the matter to the OSI
license-discuss mailing list, OSI general counsel Larry Rosen replied
"You've answered it beautifully.  Give this guy a law degree!"

(Alas, that doesn't get me a law degree, but it means someone generally
considered a well-informed copyright lawyer thinks I was on-target.)

> In the U.S., copyrights are completely negotiable instruments.  That is,
> I can completely transfer my interest in them to another party (this is
> not so much the case in droit d'auteur jurisdisctions).
> Surely anything that I can sell, or give away to another party under
> contract, I can abandon altogether.

Certainly you can abandon it.  But that does not cause the _title_ to
cease to exist.  Remember:  Public domain creative works are those whose
copyright title has either lapsed, become invalid (pre-1978), or were
non-copyrightable ab initio (e.g., creative works published or generated
directly by the Federal government).

There is a difference between a piece of property whose ownership is up
for grabs and one that has ceased to exist.  If it's not the latter,
then it's not public domain (by definition).

Cheers,             The shortest distance between two puns is a straightline.
Rick Moen

Reply to: