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Re: dpANSI

On 22 Jun 2004 11:56:33 -0400
Camm Maguire <camm@enhanced.com> wrote:
> Adam Warner <lists@consulting.net.nz> writes:
> > I am personally prepared to rely upon the Common Lisp community
> > understanding that they are public domain documents.
> > 
> > Whether the Debian project is similarly prepared to accept the
> > uncertainty is their decision.
> It would be nice for those in the know/responsible for Debian's
> legal understanding to put forth a consensus on this.
Reading Kent Pitman's statement didn't exactly instil me with

Kent M Pitman (pitman@world.std.com) wrote:
> Documents do exist (but are not on display publicly)

This raises the question: "why not"?

> that would show that the legal intent was to have placed them into
> the public domain, even though we botched the final execution of
> that.

So, this stuff definitely *isn't* in the public domain, then.

> A good intellectual property lawyer would tell you that this means
> the legal status is messy

Whoo, a lawyerbomb.

> those who paid for its creation could (hypothetically) have grounds
> to make a claim that it was encumbered in some way, that is, to
> assert that they have some right of ownership.  But since all of
> those parties at one time or another signed into this system of
> contracts identifying that the intent was to make a public domain
> document, I don't personally think they would succeed.

It would be nice to know who all the parties in question are. Also:

1) The papers that detail the contract aren't on public display. 
2) They might not even be in the possession of the prosecuting party,
making obtaining access to them via some disclosure process difficult.
3) I'm not sure how much "intent" would be worth, and indeed 
4) Surely a contract is only binding between the signatories? I fail
to see how it could realistically be used as proof of any obligation
to third parties.

IANAL, but this sounds highly dodgy to me.

Andrew Saunders

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