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Re: how to properly specify "Public Domain"?

On 2006/03/30, at 21:04, Frank Küster wrote:

On the other hand, I have learned meanwhile that in some legislations
the term Public Domain does indeed have a defined meaning. From this I
would conclude that declaring something "Public Domain" should be
sufficient, and that effectively no court could sanely assert a
copyright infringement if someone used a file on that basis, even when
the term doesn't have a well-defined meaning there - at least if the
copyright holder is from a country where it has.

My understanding of "public domain" is that a public domain document is not covered by copyright law anymore. Which means, since there are no copyright owner, there are no use licenses. A license is given by a copyright owner, if there is no copyright, there is no license. Period. And everybody becomes free to use the file without any restriction, even restrictions related to closing the file's contents (or rather an instance of the file, since no one can claim copyright to the original contents).

Public domain is clearly defined in copyright law, and that should be so in any country that has any kind of copyright law. Copyright only extends to a certain period of time after which it does not exist anymore. Maybe you should check copyright law to get proper reference. Copyright and public domain are two sides of the same coin.

Jean-Christophe Helary

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