Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Karl Fogel <>
Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:22:39 -0400

I'm going to take license-review@ off my next response.  I originally
thought this was just a matter of quick review, but it's clearly deeper
than that, and should stay on discuss@ for now.  Just FYI.


Tom Callaway <> writes:
>I understand the problem. I still would prefer that we not imply that
>public domain is the same thing as open source. If we must add a FAQ
>item, then I propose something like:
>  Works of the United States Government for which copyright is
>  unavailable under 17 U.S.C. 105. are considered to be in the Public
>  Domain in the United States. Even though such works are not
>  technically open source, in the United States this means that
>  there are no restrictions on those works. This may not be true in
>  non-US jurisdictions. Public Domain is an extremely complicated and
>  tricky concept, and the OSI does not endorse abandoning your
>  copyrights to place a work into the Public Domain whenever it is
>  avoidable. If you wish to license your work with an extremely
>  permissive "do anything you wish" license that is roughly equivalent
>  to a Public Domain work, consider using the Creative Commons 0
>  License, if possible.