Subject: RE: Copyright & License Questions
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 13:01:30 -0700

> Nobody can "do away" with their copyright "by providing a notice that
> places the work in the public domain."
>> No, one can't.  But I don't see why an author cannot abandon
>> their Title 17 rights explicitly, just as any other property right
>> be abandoned explicitly.  This, surely, is what is generally
>> understood by a dedication to the public domain, although it
>> is not the "public domain" as that term is used in Title 17.
>> Note that Title 17 nowhere defines the term.

And suppose you later retract your abandonment?  What's to prevent that?
What's to reassure someone using your "abandoned" software that you
won't later retract?  Is your word "abandoned" merely a loose way of
saying "I license everyone to use"?

The term "public domain" specifically includes works whose copyright has
expired, and works for which copyright is not allowed (e.g., US
government works).  

I know that people "generally" understand the term "public domain."  Be
careful of general understandings in legal matters.