For Approval: Academic Citing License

Alex Rousskov rousskov at
Mon Sep 27 16:30:24 UTC 2004

On Mon, 27 Sep 2004, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting John Cowan (jcowan at
>> Only 948.  Public domain projects don't have OSI-approved licenses 
>> for the very good reason that they aren't licensed at all.  But 
>> they are clearly Open Source.
> You are (obviously) correct in the abstract, but [...] It turned out 
> that basically _all_ of the packages I checked had various 
> encumbrances by upstream copyright rights (e.g., prior authors), but 
> that, in each case, basically the project lead developer was using 
> "public domain" as shorthand to mean "I don't understand licensing 
> and/or want the problem to go away".

and/or as a shorthand to mean "my understanding of a Public Domain 
concept differs from that of Rick Moen" :-/.


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