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Re: Public Domain again

On Fri, Feb 01, 2013 at 02:04:26AM +0100, Jérémy Lal wrote:
> On 01/02/2013 01:25, Don Armstrong wrote:
> > On Fri, 01 Feb 2013, Jérémy Lal wrote:
> >> My issue is that i don't understand how public domain is DFSG,

> > If a work can actually be placed into the public domain

> Does this mean there are cases where the work cannot actually
> be placed into the public domain ?

In *most* jurisdictions, it appears to not be possible for a copyright
holder to release their work into the public domain.  That's why CC0 exists
as a workaround, to make a pseudo-public domain dedication of a work.

Works that are genuinely in the public domain (because they are old enough,
or because they were produced under circumstances which do not result in
copyright attaching to the work in the first place) are definitely
DFSG-free.  They also have *no* license, because there is no one you need to
ask permission from!

> To be practical, are these files all right to be listed
> as 'public-domain' in debian/copyright :

> * without copyright notice


> * with a short notice
>   'There is no licence for this, I don't care what you do with it'

no (this is not a statement that it's in the public domain, and "there is no
license" implies "no permission is actually granted");

> * without copyright notice, and an explicit
>   'this code is under public domain'

yes, provided this is true;

> * the same as above, but with a copyright <name> <year> next to it,
>   (i made that last example, to be sure i get it)

no, because these are contradictory statements.  Public domain means *the
absence of copyright*.  If someone is claiming the work to both be in public
domain and covered by copyright, they have failed to understand and we must
assume the work is under copyright with no license grant.

Hope that helps,
Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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