For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

David Woolley forums at
Sun Aug 19 09:24:06 UTC 2007

Donovan Hawkins wrote:

> Incidentally, why is public domain not an option? I joined this list 
> recently and haven't heard your discussions in the past on that subject.

IANAL, but my understanding is:

1) In most countries the only way of getting into the public domain is 
by waiting until the copyright expires (death plus 70 years, typically, 
for an author who is a natural person); I think there is some 
controversy as to whether anyone except the US Federal government can 
force something into the public domain, even in the USA;

2) Abandoning copyright doesn't mean that you abandon legal 
responsibility; having a licence means that you can attempt to get the 
recipient to waive the right to sue you in return for receiving the 
permissions given in the licence.

Incidentally the BSD attribution requirements probably come under "moral 
rights", which I don't believe one can even assign in the EU.

David Woolley
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