On Sat, 17 May 2014 09:57:06 +0100, Robert Kern wrote:

> On 2014-05-17 02:07, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>> On Fri, 16 May 2014 14:46:23 +0000, Grant Edwards wrote:
>>> At least in the US, there doesn't seem to be such a thing as "placing
>>> a work into the public domain".  The copyright holder can transfer
>>> ownershipt to soembody else, but there is no "public domain" to which
>>> ownership can be trasferred.
>> That's factually incorrect. In the US, sufficiently old works, or works
>> of a certain age that were not explicitly registered for copyright, are
>> in the public domain. Under a wide range of circumstances, works
>> created by the federal government go immediately into the public
>> domain.
> There is such a thing as the public domain in the US, and there are
> works in it, but there isn't really such a thing as "placing a work"
> there voluntarily, as Grant says. A work either is or isn't in the
> public domain. The author has no choice in the matter.

That's incorrect.


Here's the money quote, from the 9th Circuit Court:

    It is well settled that rights gained under the Copyright Act 
    may be abandoned. But abandonment of a right must be manifested
    by some overt act indicating an intention to abandon that right.

There's also this:


which counts as an overt act.

By the way, there's more info on US copyright terms here:


although it doesn't specifically mention voluntarily abandonment of 

Steven D'Aprano

Reply via email to