For Approval: NASA Open Source Agreement Version 1.1

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Tue Feb 17 21:11:45 UTC 2004

> > So I have no right to create a derivative work of a public 
> domain work 
> > and release that derivative work under a license of my choice?  For 
> > example, I can not take PD code and incorporate it into 
> Apache httpd? 
> > I must misunderstand what public domain means, then.
> Oh yes, you can do that.  But the derivative work must be 
> genuinely a derivative work, and not just a minor touch-up of 
> the public-domain original.

I don't think so, John. Anyone can do ANYTHING to a public domain work. No
license is required, whether it is to do plastic surgery or simply to put on
lipstick. If anything, the proper question is whether the degree of
creativity in the "derivative work" is sufficient to actually create a new
copyrightable work. If not, that so-called derivative work will be an
uncopyrightable public domain work too.

/Larry Rosen

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