Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: John Cowan <>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 14:59:56 -0400

Karl Fogel scripsit:

> Yes, I realize that we talk about "licenses" everywhere, and the text
> would make clear that public domain is not really a license, etc, etc.
> But I've seen this point cause confusion on a number of lists now,
> including some that matter, and we should just put it to bed.

Public domain is already adequately discussed in the FAQ at . The issue is not
whether PD works are open source, but whether they exist -- that is,
whether merely saying so can make a work public domain.

See (the
CC0 license) for a license that attempts to put works into the public
domain, and if that fails, licenses everyone everywhere to use all the
owner's copyright rights for the duration of the copyright for any
number of copies and for any purpose.

If you understand,                      John Cowan
   things are just as they are;
if you do not understand,     
   things are just as they are.