[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

"License": public-domain

Hi everyone,

I sometimes see in d/copyright

> Copyright: John Doe
License: public-domain

e.g., [1]. However, these two statements contradict each other: public domain means exactly the _absence_ of copyright [2]. Specifically, public domain is _not_ open source [3]. In fact, it's not a proper license at all. I suspect that this is mostly due to an upstream misunderstanding of the term "public domain"; some people mistake it for "open source".

Since Debian is usually quite careful when it comes to legal issues, I'm wondering what the official view point is here. Should there be a lintian error if the "license" is public domain and a copyright holder is specified? Should "public-domain" perhaps be prohibited in general?


[1] https://anonscm.debian.org/git/debian-science/packages/mumps.git/tree/debian/copyright#n52
[2] https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.en.html
[3] https://opensource.org/node/878

Reply to: