Re: Some licensing questions regarding celestia
> 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.
>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.)