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Re: Using NASA Imagery

"Bernhard R. Link" <brlink@debian.org> writes:

> * Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> [090117 20:01]:
>> Because NASA as a US government agency can't copyright things it
>> produces directly, they're usually DFSG free. (It's the equivalent of
>> public domain in the US.) [Specific examples of work are needed to
>> figure out whether that's the case in a specific instance.]
> I know this is general accepted knowledge, but has anyone ever asked
> a layer knowledgable in international copyright law about it?

I just asked someone working on international copyright law. The key
point is that you always have to apply the law of the country where
you want to distribute the work (principle of national treatment,
"Schutzlandprinzip" in German). So, while there is no copyright on
NASA images in the US, it is still protected by the respective laws in
any country that has signed the Berne convention or a similar
international treaty.

I am not sure whether this makes it non-free, though. The DSFG do not
mention that the rules have to apply worldwide. Also, the GPLv2
explicitely allows geographical limitations.


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