> | > If you ever claimed to hold the copyright to software that has been
> | > released into the public domain, you would be commiting fraud.
> | 
> | Not if I'm the author of the software.
> | 
> | I can release my software under as many licenses as I'd like, including
> | putting it into the public domain.
> Once it's in the Public Domain you have abandoned your claim to copyright.

On that released version, yes.  But, not on subsuquent versions.  I
still maintain my rights to do with the code as I please.

> | As the original author, you never lose your rights to the software,
> | unless you assign your rights away to another entity, who knows has the
> Or you abandon those rights by releasing it into the Public Domain.

See above.

> | Back to the original question, Charles Mott is the original author of
> | said code, and he can release his software under any license he so
> | pleases.  If someone has a copy of his software released under the PD
> | license, they are free to do with it as they please.  However, he can
> | *also* release a version under the BSD license (which he has), and that
> | version is now being distributed by FreeBSD.  This is all completely
> | free and legal, because Charles is within his legal rights to do so.
> The Public Domain is not a license, it is an abandonment of copyright.

That's not how I understand it to be, from speaking with lawyers on it.

> If you find a piece of code, without a license attached, then copyright
> law prevents you from copying, modifying or redistributing that code
> (or book, or music) without written permission.

I believe this is part of the Berne Convention, no?  (And, it's not
necessarily agreed upon by *all* countries in the world, hence the
reason why certain companies explicity deny you to download software in
certain countries.  I believe Libya is one...)

> The GPL was born because Stallman got burnt by releasing a version of
> emacs (I think) into the Public Domain.

I don't believe it was PD code.  However, RMS never explicitly listed
the rights the users had, and another company took the software,
modified it, and started selling it as commercial software.  RMS still
had the rights on his original software, but he couldn't 'go back' and
take away the rights he had granted in his initial release, so he
couldn't stop the company from making money on 'his work'.

> I A company started selling it,
> and RMS had no claim to any of the monies, nor could he stop them from
> selling a binary only version of it (or selling it at all), nor could he
> force them to acknowledge it was written by him.

Actually, if I remember correctly, the company did acknowledge that he
wrote it, but that didn't help his cause.  (I actually got a catalog
from the company in question, but I can't remember the name offhand).

He was free to re-use the same software, and release it under a
different license for use in EMACS.  (I believe that EMACS still
contains some of the original LISP macros he initially developed, but
they are now under the GPL license.)


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