Public domain

Rui Miguel Seabra rms at
Thu Nov 8 14:05:02 UTC 2001

On Thu, Nov 08, 2001 at 03:14:08PM +0100, DeBug wrote:
> 2)
> Explain me please why <public domain work> means that anybody can take
> control over it. I would suggest <public domain work> means noone can
> take control over it.
> By taking control i mean commanding how other people should or should
> not use it.
> Maybe i should address this question elsewhere then point me please...

Hi debug, 
it is in fact a bad choice of words.
No one takes control from someone with public domain software _directly_

However, they can probably patent it, claim rights over it, etc, and maybe
that way taking the right to use the code you have released in public domain.
But I am not a law expert..

That's why there is copyleft. It plays by the rules, and avoids proprietary
extensions, as well as preventing anyone from taking control of the software.

Hugs, rms

ps: this is, of course, expecting that people want to play by the rules.
anyone can disregard a license and use the software in an illegal way.
Or one can use it in an otherwise illegal way, in case we're talking about
countries that do not regard this issues.
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