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Re: Legal status of short, perhaps uncopyrightable program (fwd)




"Lionel Elie Mamane" <lionel@mamane.lu> wrote in message 20051007110125.GA16644@tofu.mamane.lu">news:20051007110125.GA16644@tofu.mamane.lu...
On Fri, Oct 07, 2005 at 09:12:37AM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
Asheesh Laroia <asheesh@asheesh.org> wrote:

There are some murmurings on the Web (e.g.,
http://www.spatula.net/software/sex/ ,
http://packages.gentoo.org/ebuilds/?sex-1.0 ) from people who believe that it
is BSD-licensed, but in truth I have been able to find no license.

http://www.spatula.net/software/sex/ says "Original author unknown.
Presumably this is public domain by now." Anyone know why they
presume that?

Clueless. It certainly isn't public domain. The author, whomever it
is, is most probably not dead for 70 years; the programming language
this is written in (whatever it is! (except maybe the one used by Ada
Lovelace...)) didn't exist back then.


Before 1989 (in the US) lack of a copyright notice on an authorized publication could cause loss of copyright protection if the work was not registerd within 5 years, and all future versions be published with a correct notice. As the earliest known version has no copyright notice, was published in 1990 but with the implication that it had been previously published, and the fact that copyright registration of this work nearly trivial work is highly unlikely, there is a good chance that it is indeed in the public domain.



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