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Re: Some licensing questions regarding celestia

On Tue, 02 Sep 2003, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Don Armstrong (don@donarmstrong.com):
>> It follows directly from contract law.
> The falsity of that statement can be seen at a brief glance from the
> fact that "a license granting unlimited unrevokable rights to the
> public to use, modify, copy, etc." would be founded in copyright law,
> rather than copyright law, without even considering the merits of the
> "public domain dedications".

Licenses are primarily founded upon Contract Law, not Copyright Law.
Copyright Law is what grants you the rights to a work which you then
exchange or give away using a License or Contract. Contract Law is
what allows you to establish a legally binding document to exchange or
give away those rights or interests.

>> Dedicating a work to the public does not require that the copyright
>> be destroyed.
> (1) If there's a copyright title extant, then by definition the
> article is not public domain.  That is incontrovertible.
> (2) Separately and aside from that, the effect of a "public domain
> dedication" is thus far legally indeterminate, for reasons previously
> cited.

There are two separate clases of works under issue here: 

(1) Those that are public domain by statute.

(2) Those that are dedicated to the public domain by license or

In order for (2) to be legally indeterminate, there needs to be
applicable statutory or case law limiting the rights which a copyright
holder can give away. If there is no case law or statute limiting
those rights, the rights can be given away.

Regardless, I'll power up Lexis/Nexis tonight and see what I can dig

Don Armstrong

Grimble left his mother in the food store and went to the launderette
and watched the clothes go round. It was a bit like colour television
only with less plot.
 -- Clement Freud _Grimble_


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