For Approval: Academic Citing License

Alex Rousskov rousskov at
Mon Sep 27 17:50:28 UTC 2004

On Mon, 27 Sep 2004, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Alex Rousskov (rousskov at
>> and/or as a shorthand to mean "my understanding of a Public Domain 
>> concept differs from that of Rick Moen" :-/.
> And how many of those projects did _you_ licence-audit, Alex?  I 
> imagine that would be precisely zero, nicht wahr?

I currently author/admin a couple of Public Domain projects on Source 
Forge, so you would be precisely wrong. However, me eating my dog food 
is not the point, of course.

The point is that you are using your interpretation of Public Domain 
status to portrait authors of Public Domain projects (other than US 
government agents, I assume) as clueless about licensing problems. 
Believe it or not, but disagreeing with you does not make somebody 
clueless or ignorant.

There are many clueless folks selecting distribution terms for their 
software (regardless of the licensing model), and I believe it is 
unfair to single out those who pick Public Domain. In fact, if a 
legally-clueless person picks distribution terms, it is arguably 
better to pick Public Domain: it might both match the intent better 
(on average) and be a clear warning sign for folks that support your 
point of view.

I do agree that it would be great for OSI to write about Public Domain 
software. I hope OSI description will be more balanced than yours.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list