Subject: Re: Why?
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 29 Dec 2003 13:44:20 -0500

Jan Dockx <Jan_Dockx@peopleware.be> writes:

> Why do organizations that release software under a permissive,
> non-copyleft license, use a license in the first place? What is the
> difference between BSD and public domain?

I've read elsewhere that it's actually not clear how to release code
in the public domain in the U.S.

Code for which copyright has expired is in the public domain.  But
it's not clear how an individual or an organization can put code into
the public domain if copyright has not expired.  You can disclaim any
copyright interest, but it doesn't follow that the code is in the
public domain, or that anybody else has a right to use it.

So something along the lines of the BSD license may actually be
simpler to use than an attempt to put code into the public domain.

Ian
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