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Status of US Government Works in foreign countries

Dear all,

I am working on packaging a library developed by US Census Bureau. All
information about it can be found here:


As it is developed by part of the US Government, it is thus considered
as uncopyrighted at least in the US. Here is the relevant part though:

   This Software was created by U.S. Government employees and therefore is
   not subject to copyright in the United States (17 U.S.C. §105). The
   United States/Department of Commerce reserves all rights to seek and
   obtain copyright protection in countries other than the United States.

US Goverment public domain issue has been discussed a few times in this
mailing list [1]. According to the interpretation by [2], this would
fall into public domain abroad as well and second part of the above
licence snippet may be unenforceable.

I wonder therefore whether it is legally sound to state licence as
'public-domain' for the package and include the licence and disclaimer
text from the website. Would the package under this license qualify as
free, non-free or should be outside Debian?

In my view, libtnt package in the main repo may be the one setting a
precedent here as it refers to the same (17 U.S.C §105), although its
licence does not specify restrictions to foreign countries.

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/04/msg00164.html
[2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/04/msg00300.html


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