[Novalug] Public Domain [was Re: Fun with bash]
truegsegger at csc.com
Tue Jan 2 11:12:26 EST 2007
Alan quoted the "Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide" (e.g., at
> And the very last words of the .pdf I found also entrancing:
>  The author intends that this book be released into the Public
> Domain after a period of 14 years, that is, in 2014. In the early
> years of the American republic this was the duration statutorily
> granted to a copyrighted work.
> Our kinda guy, no?
While I admire the sentiment, I've had lawyers assure me that
individuals cannot themselves place works in the public domain.
As I understand it, only the government can do that, either by legal
processes like copyright expiration or when the work is produced by or
on behalf of the government.
An example of the latter is the VistA healthcare information system
developed by the Veterans Administration; you can get it via a FOIA
request (better yet, download a live CD running GNU/Linux, GTM (GPL
MUMPS) and VistA from the WorldVistA project).
IANAL; any lawyers want to confirm or correct?
Just to forestall any confusion, VistA is the Veterans Health
Information Systems and Technology Architecture, not to be confused
with the car wax of the same name, or Volunteers in Service to
America, or other free software products (Lawrence Berkeley National
Lab's genomic sequence analysis suite or UNC's Visual Statistics
System, to name a couple). I've heard there's even a proprietary
software vendor out there arrogantly helping itself to the name.
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