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

Corinna Vinschen
Sat Oct 27 10:42:00 GMT 2012

On Oct 26 21:37, David Sastre Medina wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 12:26:59PM -0600, Warren Young wrote:
> > On 10/25/2012 11:49 AM, Jari Aalto wrote:
> > >
> > >Neither OSI, nor FSF recommend use of "public domain" for Open Source
> > >software.
> > 
> > I think you should total up the list of recommendations the FSF has
> > made over the years, and decide if you really want to be constrained
> > use only things that make FSF happy.
> > 
> > >FSF recommends use of existing licences (GNU licences, Apache
> > >...), likewise OSI:
> > >
> > >     "We recommend that you always apply an approved Open Source license to
> > >     software you are releasing, rather than try to
> > >     waive copyright [= put into public domain] altogether."
> > >
> > 
> > CC0 is a bit more complicated than pure public domain.
> > 
> > >         ... This “Give-It-Away” license provides no protection for anyone
> > >         if the donated software causes harm (...) one [cannot] escape a
> > >         lawsuit just because his gift was only accidentally harmful.
> > 
> > CC0 contains a warranty disclaimer.  (§4.b.)
> > 
> > >If "utmost free" were the initial intention -- What was wrong with the
> > >BSD[1] or MIT licenses, which are desinged to be Open Source software
> > >licenses?
> > 
> > My point is that this is basically what you get, when you live
> > somewhere that doesn't allow public domain copyright disclaimer.
> When I first decided to use CC0, I admitedly didn't do too much of a
> research. I concur with Corinna that the contents of the base-files package is
> simple enough not to even worry about licensing, but as concern about
> this reached the list[1], I simply looked for something a little bit more serious
> than the beer-ware[2] license and used it: I found the CC0 to be FSF[3] approved,
> and I thought it was an authoritative enough source of information.
> I really don't mind to move to any of BSD-2 or GPLv3 if needed, but I
> definitely don't want to see my name in each and every one of the
> files, because I'm only the mantainer here, and most of the code was
> already there or has been contributed by others, so before I merge
> those kindly sent pull-requests, I'd like to know if the copyright attribution 

As you state, the base files are a collective effort and everybody so
far was comfortable to leave the stuff in the public domain.  It seems
wrong to imply that every contributor to this code would agree with the
move to pull the code out of PD.  You could argue that the contributors
don't care, otherwise, why use a PD license?  But that's not fair, is it?

> in the headers could reference the cygwin project, something like:
> ( Copyright (c) 2010-2012 The cygwin project <> )

That's really not required, IMHO.  The setup files in Fedora don't
have such a header either.  The only copyright note is this text in

  Setup package is public domain.

  You are free to use, copy, distribute or modify included files
  without restrictions.


Corinna Vinschen                  Please, send mails regarding Cygwin to
Cygwin Project Co-Leader          cygwin AT cygwin DOT com
Red Hat

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