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Re: ITP some 13 years old code with unknown license



[No need to CC me; I'm subscribed.]

Harald Dunkel wrote:
> Next question: Blockade contains a lot of game levels generated
> by a lot of people. I have to assume that the included list
> of contributors is complete.

That's generally a reasonable assumption, unless there is evidence to
the contrary.

> But is it save to assume that
> their contributed work is in public domain, too?

That isn't a safe assumption in general.

Was this game in the public domain back when it was released, or did der
Mouse decide to put it in the public domain recently (after the long
period of distribution)?  If the former, then in the absence of licenses
or explicit copyright notices on the levels, it seems likely that the
contributors provided them with the understanding that they would be
included in the public domain work.  I don't know if this would give us
sufficient certainty that this was true.

On the other hand, if der Mouse put the game in the public domain after
the contributions were made, and he doesn't have the necessary rights to
the levels to do so on their authors' behalf, then they must be assumed
to be copyrighted and under an unknown license.

You could also try asking der Mouse if the levels are public domain as well.

> The game
> is on the net since 1991 (even though it is pretty unknown),
> and by now there were no objections, AFAIK.

This is not to prove that the game levels are public domain or otherwise
Free, although it does make it far more likely.

- Josh Triplett

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