Public domain software is not open-source?

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Mar 3 17:50:11 UTC 2008

Alexander Terekhov scripsit:

> I suggest that you write an article explaining how public domain
> software can be "re-used" under a copyright license stating for
> example that "This Open Software License (the "License") applies to
> any original work of authorship (the "Original Work") whose owner (the
> "Licensor") has placed the following licensing notice adjacent to the
> copyright notice for the Original Work: ..." and purporting to grant
> something that doesn't belong to the owner (the "Licensor") because
> former original owner put it into public domain. 

An original work is no less original because it incorporates material
from the public domain, although the difference from the public domain
must be sufficient to rise to the rather weak threshold of originality.

No,  John.  I want formats that are actually       John Cowan
useful, rather than over-featured megaliths that
address all questions by piling on ridiculous      cowan at
internal links in forms which are hideously
over-complex. --Simon St. Laurent on xml-dev

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