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Re: Sapphire.cpp -- Gpl compatible? DFSG-free?

On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 11:05 PM, MJ Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> wrote:
> This is just a drive-by comment from me that "the public domain" can
> mean either the (US?) idea of being shared and shareable without
> restriction or the (UK?) idea of being known by members of the public
> and not any sort of secret.

That's true, but in the context of the area of the file where you
would otherwise find a copyright notice, I would think that most
reasonable people would interpret it as the 'US' idea.

> I'm not sure of testing in court, but if
> it's pretty obviously unrestricted, it's probably good enough -
> although not ideal as that sort of public domain is shrunk by bad laws
> recently.

I don't think that a plaintiff suing for infringement over this work
would have much luck in court, but if someone can find case law that
suggests otherwise...

In any case, the likelihood of the author or any subsequent copyright
holder taking any sort of action over this is very, very small.

Also, for this particular case, see the author's post in
sci.crypt.research back in Jan 1995[0]:


The intention of this document is to share some research results on an
informal basis.  You may freely use the algorithm and code listed above as
far as I'm concerned, as long as you don't sue me for anything, but there may
be other restrictions that I am not aware of to your using it.  The C++ code
fragment above is just intended to illustrate the algorithm being discussed,
and is not a complete application.  I understand this document to be
Constitutionally protected publication, and not a munition, but don't blame
me if it explodes or has toxic side effects."

So for this particular code it's fine, copyright or not, although the
effect of the warranty disclaimer could be debated ;)

[0] http://groups.google.com/group/sci.crypt.research/browse_thread/thread/85d7519a3486193c/5817f0a5906c1bf7

Andrew Donnellan <><               andrew[at]donnellan[dot]name
http://andrew.donnellan.name          ajdlinux[at]gmail[dot]com
http://linux.org.au                  subkeys.pgp.net 0x5D4C0C5

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