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Re: Public Domain again

Jérémy Lal <kapouer@melix.org> writes:

> Public domain is not a license, its meaning depends
> on the country you're in. What if that country applies
> laws that violate DFSG ?

I think you have to distinguish between two cases.

1.) Someone releases some code that is accompanied with a statement
    along the lines of "I hereby dedicate my work to the public
    domain". While there is some ambiguity in the term "public domain",
    it is clear that by any legal definition, such a statement concludes
    a waiver of all exclusive rights to this work. These works are fine
    to distribute in Debian, and maintainers and mirror operators should
    be safe if they operate in jurisdictions meeting basic international

2.) The more delicate case is when the work is deemed to be exempt of
    copyright by US law, as is the case with works created by the US
    government. These works are only in the public domain within the US,
    as they are still protected by international copyright law [1].
    Historically, Debian has adopted a US-centric point of view and
    accepts unlicensed US government works into main, but if you are an
    international maintainer, you might want to take additional
    precautions if you are dealing with such works.


[1] http://www.quantenblog.net/free-software/us-copyright-international

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