On Tue, Aug 21, 2001 at 11:18:41PM +0300, Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> From: Crist J. Clark <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Re: Copyright Contradiction in libalias
> Date: Tue, Aug 21, 2001 at 11:40:20AM -0700
> > On Tue, Aug 21, 2001 at 08:14:59AM -0500, Thomas T. Veldhouse wrote:
> > 
> > > So, if Microsoft
> > > decides they want your software without the existing license (public domain)
> > > you can relicense it to them for a fee under whatever terms you want, and
> > > they must deal with you on it because of the copyright that you hold.
> > 
> > No, they don't have to deal with you. MS can license code in the
> > public domain however they like. They need not consult you at all.
> But can someone that did not know about the `public domain' state of
> the program accuse you, tha author, later on that you 'cheated' on
> him, if you do ask for money when they come to you and ask that they
> `buy' the source?

If you ever claimed to hold the copyright to software that has been
released into the public domain, you would be commiting fraud. You
would be vulnerable to whatever criminal or civil reprocusions that
result. That does not mean you can't sell something you do not own the
copyright too. If I have the only existing copy of some forgotten work
by Shakespeare, I could sell it however I want under any terms I
chose (licensing), but I cannot claim the copyright and be protected
by copyright law above and beyond what I put in my license. If someone
else finds a copy of it, I'm screwed.

> I am not a lawyer, and I am probably mistaken here, but if someone
> wants to pay me for a program, even if the program has been released
> by me to the public domain, I think I will not refuse their money.
> Of course, being the stupid^W ethical guy I am, I will note that the
> program is public domain, and if they still want to buy it, then I
> won't refuse selling it.

Feel free. I think people are confusing the concept of license and
copyright. They are two different things. FreeBSD can distribute
public domain code under any license it wants (provided the licensing
does not assume FreeBSD or someone else holds copyright to the
code). It cannot claim the copyright of public domain code. "Public
domain" is not a type of license. When a copyright owner puts
something in the public domain, they are giving up the copyright since
they have no recourse to stop anyone from doing _anything_ with the

But again, IANAL. There are international copyright treaties, but laws
still do vary from nation to nation. YMMV.
Crist J. Clark                           [EMAIL PROTECTED]

To Unsubscribe: send mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
with "unsubscribe freebsd-current" in the body of the message

Reply via email to