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"placed into public domain" software from droit d'auteur developers

If someone claims that he has placed his software into public domain,
and the person is subject to the jurisdiction of one of the droit
d'auteur countries (Germany for example[1]), shall we interpret this
claim as null and void, or as the grant of very broad usage rights to
the general public?

[1] Over here, you can't give up some of your rights as an author,
    much like you can't sell yourself into slavery.

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