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Re: DEP-5 and public domain

Le Mon, Aug 02, 2010 at 02:27:34PM -0700, Russ Allbery a écrit :
> It's probably worth noting here that if something purports to be in the
> public domain but includes things like warranty disclaimers, the author
> has misunderstood public domain.  If it's really public domain, there's no
> way to add warranty disclaimers or no-endorsement statements.  If those
> things have any legal force, then it's not actually public domain.

Hi Russ,

here is an example of package where I use the License field to include include
copy of a public domain notice. This is a software made by a U. S. Governmental


Licence: PD
	                          PUBLIC DOMAIN NOTICE
	             National Center for Biotechnology Information
	This software/database is a "United States Government Work" under the
	terms of the United States Copyright Act.  It was written as part of
	the author's official duties as a United States Government employee and
	thus cannot be copyrighted.  This software/database is freely available
	to the public for use. The National Library of Medicine and the U.S.
	Government have not placed any restriction on its use or reproduction.
	Although all reasonable efforts have been taken to ensure the accuracy
	and reliability of the software and data, the NLM and the U.S.
	Government do not and cannot warrant the performance or results that
	may be obtained by using this software or data. The NLM and the U.S.
	Government disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including
	warranties of performance, merchantability or fitness for any particular
	Please cite the author in any work or product based on this material.

In general, I think that it is appropriate to convey the information of what
the authors want people to do or refrain to do with their software, even if
they can not enforce it. In the above example, citing the notice also has
the advantage of clarifying why the work is in the public domain, and give
some confidence that it is not a misunderstanding from the upstream author.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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