Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 15:06:15 -0700

Quoting Richard Fontana (

> Maybe a way out of this then is the fact that there is no standard
> form of public domain dedication (leave aside what you may think of
> what a public domain dedication actually is, or what it actually
> achieves). Even in the case of noncopyrighted U.S. government employee
> works, I've seen cases where the developers have put a legal notice
> stating that no copyright is being claimed by the U.S. government -
> and there is no standardized wording for that either. So, perhaps,
> OSI's main business has been certifying particular legal documents,
> and there simply is no standard one in the sphere that's been
> considered (justifiably or not) "public domain". There is CC-0, which
> I believe meets the OSD. I suppose, say, the SQLite project could
> offer their own legal notice as the equivalent of a license for
> certification, and then OSI would have to face the issue. 

Much as I hate to post just 'me too', that sounds reasonable to me.

If CC0[1] (which Creative Commons points out does _not_ put a work into
the public domain) were proposed for OSI Certified status, I see no
objection to vetting it as an open source licence -- though I'd question
the _sanity_ of anyone asserting that 121 lines of cramped legalese 
are 'simpler' than the MIT Licence's ~20 lines.