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Re: [DSFG] question: Custom hand written notice

On Thu, Feb 09, 2006 at 06:19:45PM +0900, JC Helary wrote:
> >    License:
> >
> >    The snow source code and the algorithms contained within it are  
> >free
> >    for non-commercial use. Licences for commercial single-customer
> >    applications will usually be granted free of charge, but  
> >contact the
> >    author for confirmation.
> >
> >    Notes:
> >
> >    (*)As of 29 May 1999 the source code has changed from being public
> >    domain to being free for non-commercial use. However,  
> >commercial users
> >    are automatically granted a licence for any use of the snow  
> >code and
> >    algorithms deployed before this date.
> Is it possible to take something that had been put in the public  
> domain (ie copyright-less) and put a copyright and a license on it  
> controling its use ?

I don't think so.  However, after releasing the work into the public
domain, he can refrain from releasing further modifications.  So, if
you can find a copy of the program from before this date, or if you
can take code from today and remove any changes made after it, it's
in the public domain.  (The latter is, of course, very difficult.)

It sounds like he's saying: "if you deployed before this date, then
you can still use today's version commercially".  It sounds like an
attempt to be fair to people who had already deployed and were depending
on the software, so as not to "bait and switch".

Of course, a license that doesn't allow commercial use is non-free.
(Algorithms are not subject to copyright, though.)


Glenn Maynard

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