[Health] [Grassroots-l] Health Jam 2008

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Apr 30 00:27:34 EDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Bryan Berry wrote:
| Public domain license is a notoriously fuzzy legal realm that isn't
| recognized by the Open Source Institute as an open source license.

Perhaps you are already aware, but to be clear, in US law:
Public Domain means "you can do absolutely whatever you want."

To be specific:
1. The US government has explicitly stated, in legally binding fashion,
that they waive all rights to enforce any copyright on this material.
2. This material was placed into the public domain by its authors, so no
one else has any standing in any jurisdiction to enforce any copyright
claim against this material.

You can do absolutely whatever you want with this material, and so can
anyone else.  It's in the public domain.

Public Domain is not a copyright license; it is instead the absence of any
copyright at all.  Neither the OSI nor the FSF has any problem with you
placing your source into the public domain.  The reason that people don't
do this is because they want the CC-BY/MIT/BSD license's attribution
protection, or the GPL/CC-BY-SA license's copyleft provision.

- --Ben
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