:Yes, and no. Distributing the exact same sources (with an extra
:copyright part) that says somebody should not copy and distribute it,
:as if it were in the public domain, a few weeks after is probably
:fraud. Arguments like "but I put extra work in this second
:distribution, since I made this nifty packaging with bright colours
:and the CDROM contains those awesome .jpeg images of my new keyboard"
:will probably sound a bit funny.
:The truth is that this is getting hairy. If you release something in
:the public domain, and then add value to it by changing a few things
:here and there, this is clearly a 'derivative' work. You do have the
:right to put any license you want on the derivative, of course - just
:like everyone else can put their own license on their own derivative
:So you are essentially very right ;-)
If you think it's that simple, read this:
I'll include some excerpts here. Basically, though, I agree with the
author of this paper that if there is *confusion*, such as there being
a copyright notice AND a notice of the work being in the public domain,
and the PD notice does not specifically reference the copyright, then
the law will be in favor of the work still being copyrighten.
>>> BEGIN <<<
However, such an analogy overlooks the special place that copyright law has
held among all forms of property law.
Clearly, the American trend in the recent statutes has been ever greater protection of
authors against forfeiture of
copyright, and almost a paternalistic attitude to protect authors against even
voluntary acts that might transfer the
copyright to another. [FN105] Such unique sensitivity to the rights of authors, and
the protection against transfers, even
fairly compensated, should caution against too liberal an interpretation of
Under section 204, a transfer of ownership of copyright "is not valid unless
an instrument of conveyance . . . is in
writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed." If this statute of frauds
prevents a verbal assignment of a
copyright, even for consideration, [FN106] then the much more severe relinquishment of
copyright to the public at
large--probably without consideration--should require no less than such a writing.
>>> END <<<
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