LICENSE: base-files and use of CC0 - public domain

Jari Aalto
Fri Oct 26 08:42:00 GMT 2012

On 2012-10-26 09:43, Corinna Vinschen wrote:
| Despite all the arguments, here's a question:  If PD is such a bad idea,
| why is Fedora's setup package, which provides much the same service
| as our base-files package, PD licensed as well?

Perhaps it was done and forgotten. World is diferent today; software needs
more scrutinizing nowadays.

In Debian the sysprofile package is Dual licensed under both the GPL
and BSD licenses.

| Why on earth should it be required to put really simple startup scripts
| under more complex than the absolute necessary licenses?

We must remember that "public domain" is not a license[1]. The safe choices
are the well known ones.

  "Just as there is nothing in the law that permits a person to dump
  personal property in the public highway, there is nothing that
  permits the dumping of intellectual property into the public domain
  — except as happens in due course when any applicable copyrights
  expire.  Until those copyrights expire, there is no mechanism in the
  law by which an owner of software can simply elect to place it in
  the public domain."

FSF, OSI and Attorneys[2] that specialize on Open Source, all recommend
selecting a license over waiving copyright i.e. using "public domain".


[1] CC0 tried to be, but the actual legal text may not make it no simpler
or straightforward than the well understood and recognized BSD, MIT or GPL.

[2] Search Google for Lawrence Rosen (former legal lead of OSI) or Mark
Radcliffe (the intellectual property attorney who's general counsel to the
Open Source Initiative)

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