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Re: Early Software Free?

"D. Starner" <shalesller@writeme.com> writes:

> Fedor Zuev <fedor@earth.crust.irk.ru> writes:
> > Initially, back in 50s-60s-70s all software
> > was free software. Proprietary software come into being only after
> > computer programs was copyrighted. Computer programs was copyrighted
> > relatively late, in 1976 year in USA, in 1991 year in Russia and
> > maybe even later in some other countries.
> tb@becket.net (Thomas Bushnell, BSG) writes:
> >                   Computer Programs               Political Writing
> > Started                 1950                            600 BC
> > Copyright legally clear 1976                        AD 1700
> Okay, I have an Algol68 compiler written at Oklahoma State University
> in 1971. (This is not a hypothetical - I have this code, and have
> considered porting it to a more modern system, say Fortran 77 targetting 
> a VAX.) Is it clearly in the public domain? I could ask permission, but
> I get the feeling I might end up talking to the Board of Regents who 
> would see it as a money making opportunity.

I would say it's unclear.  It's very unlikely it was explicitly
copyrighted at the time, but it might well count as not published
either, in which case it is the law at the time of first publication
that matters.  

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