Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Chad Perrin <>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 17:41:26 -0600
Wed, 7 Sep 2011 17:41:26 -0600
On Wed, Sep 07, 2011 at 11:54:46PM +0000, Thorsten Glaser wrote:
> Chad Perrin <perrin <at>> writes:
> > If
> > something's public domain, and your country does not recognize it as
> > such, I think your best bet is probably to get in touch with the
> > copyright holder and ask for relicensing so you can use the work. 
> That were my thoughs throughout most of the thread, yes. But if
> this is indeed my best bet, I move that OSI does *not* acknowledge
> Public Domain as Open Source™.

I'd say, rather, that it should be conditionally recognized as open
source -- under circumstances where it applies.  Otherwise, it looks to
me like you're setting a precedent for crypto software distributed under
the terms of an open source license should not be considered open source
simply because some countries prohibit the use of (strong) crypto.

> >
> > If that doesn't work for some reason, see if you can get copyright
> > declared abandoned somehow within your country so you can then do
> > whatever you like with it.
> That would only help if I were to use it in my chambers at home, not
> make it part of an Open Source project for global distribution,
> modification, etc. so it’s a non-option in all realistic cases (as the
> “my quiet chamber at home” case would be something nobody cared about
> already anyway so I could ignore the issue).

Well . . . if for national distribution, it could still be "open source
software".  It just wouldn't be so *everywhere* -- kinda like OpenSSH or
GnuPG, though for different (legal) reasons.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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