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Re: Some licensing questions regarding celestia

Don Armstrong:
> You should be able to find caselaw involving a case where a work was
> improperly placed in the public domain (ie, the person dedicating it
> to the public isn't the copyright holder,) but as the US system is a
> law in action, you'll need to find a case where someone placed the
> work into the public domain, and then withdrew that placement and
> proceeded to sue people under it.
> That's a tall order.

Rick Moen:
>That is _not_ necessary in order for the notion to be doubtful.  It
>pretty much suffices that no statutory mechanism whatsoever exists to
>enact that intention, and for the outcome to be both indeterminate and
>mostly likely jurisdiction-dependent.

Have you heard of the common law?  We don't need no stinkin' statutes.  ;-)   
I assume you do not think that there are any common-law doctrines which would 
enact that intention either.

But Don Armstrong has a point: nobody but the copyright holder has standing 
to sue.  If a court was convinced that the copyright holder had lost his 
right to sue by making a public domain dedication, then effectively the work 
*would* be in the public domain.  So you really have to believe that a court 
would listen to a copyright holder suing for copyright infringment on a work 
which he had dedicated to the public domain.  Do you believe that?

So, what do you recommend for someone who really *wants* to put something in 
the public domain?  Such as, for instance, my web page 
http://twcny.rr.com/nerode/neroden/fdl.html ?  I haven't seen any common 
license which is good enough.

If you really think that this is a serious problem, have you contacted 
Creative Commons (http://www.creativecommons.org), who promote public domain 

>> What duties of ownership? [Well, at least post 1968.]
>Sundry warranty issues.
No such thing.  Warranties are incurred by distribution and stuff like that, 
not by ownership.

>My point is that, in my experience, a claim that a package is "public
>domain" has a high statistical correlation with title problems, which
>people making derivative works must beware of.
This is irrelevant to the situations I am thinking about (where the author is 
personally dedicating the work), so please answer my questions without regard 
to this issue.  (I agree that this is a real issue, and personally pay 
attention to statements *by the author only* that the work has been put into 
the public domain.)

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