Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Chad Perrin <>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 15:34:39 -0600
Wed, 7 Sep 2011 15:34:39 -0600
On Wed, Sep 07, 2011 at 09:32:22PM +0000, Thorsten Glaser wrote:
> Chad Perrin <perrin <at>> writes:
> >
> > The original is still public domain, though -- and a public domain
> > notice can be attached to the newly modified work.  I don't really
> > see how this
> No, in some countries this is totally impossible, in many only under
> special circumstances. That you cannot simply say “I dedicate this work
> to the Public Domain” or something is actually one of the things done
> to protect the artists.

I thought it was obvious that I meant "within the same jurisdiction", but
because you for some reason did not operate on that assumption, I'll add
it explicitly now:

The original is still in the public domain within the same jurisdiction,
though -- and a public domain notice can be attached to the newly
modified work within the same jurisdiction.  Et cetera.

I really don't see how pretending you do not understand what I said helps
this discussion at all.

> (ISTR there are also (moral rights) laws where the artist can take back
> any “forever” licences after 30 years. But I’d have to look them up
> again to be specific. Point being, you can’t simply attach a note to it
> and it magically comes true, same as you can’t simply disclaim  all 
> liability for something you do.)

If you're speaking of, for instance, copyright reversion in the US, my
understanding is that exclusivity of license can revert to the original
copyright holder -- but that "moral rights" remained with the copyright
holder all along anyway.  There has been some recent brouhaha over the
fact that record labels are trying to assert that some exclusive licenses
were actually copyright "ownership" due to a "work for hire"

Of course, because I am not a lawyer, you shouldn't take my word for it,
nor take this as legal advice.  If it turns out I'm mistaken about how
all this works, please let me know.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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