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Re: public domain

On Sunday 27 March 2005 11:21 am, David Mandelberg wrote:
>  think is relevant to copyright law and I definitely don't want in the docs:
> > Dedicator makes this dedication for the benefit of the public at large
> > and to the detriment of the Dedicator's heirs and successors.
> (the detriment part specifically as this seems to me as if it would make it
> possible for anybody except my heirs to use the docs)

Its not so much that copyright is pro-corporate as has been said (although it 
is), its that copyright won't assume anything about your behavior.  Let's say 
that you take your copyright and shout out to the world, "you can all use 
this however you want."  Is that truly public domain?  Could be you have just 
granted a very open license and retain the copyright...  and that the license 
is revocable.  Copyright assumes you retain any right you don't explicitly 
grant...  so you have to explicitly relinquish everything.  The bit about the 
detriment to your heirs and successors is to ensure that their rights to the 
copyright, which kick in when you are dead, do not survive your granting of 
the public domain license.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure you can truly put anything into the public 
domain until the term of copyright has expired.  To that extent I doubt 
Brendan's "I claim no copyright" language is going to work in the United 
States.  I can tell you it is almost impossible to dedicate a patent to the 
public domain...  but I'm uncertain as to the particularities of copyrights.

All that being said, Creative Commons are smart people and write good stuff.  
I think you can trust them.  To be certain you have no legal responsibility 
to ensure it benefits the public.  There is no enforceable right or party to 
enforce the right.  So no worries there :)


Sean Kellogg
2nd Year - University of Washington School of Law
GPSS Senator - Student Bar Association
Editor-at-Large - National ACS Blog [http://www.acsblog.org]

So, let go
 ...Jump in
  ...Oh well, what you waiting for?
   ...it's all right
    ...'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

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