Public domain software is not open-source?

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Sun Mar 2 08:42:24 UTC 2008

Rick Moen wrote:
> 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,

This isn't my discussion.  I am merely pointing out that OSI has 
recognized the possibility (note: not existence) of PD, open source, 
computer software.

> 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?  

Not necessarily, though that's certainly relevant for someone 
considering reuse.

Matt Flaschen

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