Public domain software is not open-source?

Rick Moen rick at
Sun Mar 2 07:44:09 UTC 2008

Quoting Matthew Flaschen (matthew.flaschen at

> Public domain is certainly not a license, so it can't be an approved 
> open source license.

"Objection, your honour.  Lacks foundation."

I.e., your discussion assumes software that actually _is_ in the public
domain, but which software are you speaking of -- and isn't the question
of whether it's really public domain or not the very thing that must
first be determined?  

See:  "Public Domain" on ,
for my recap of some obstacles to unambiguously nullifying, by act of
will, a work's copyright ownership interest, before expiration of its
copyright term.

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