Public domain software is not open-source?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Thu Mar 6 07:29:52 UTC 2008

John Cowan [mailto:cowan at]
> Philippe Verdy scripsit:
> > I did not say that he MUST put a copyright notice, but that 
> it MUST do 
> > that IF he wants to LICENCE it. Otherwise the licence is just FUD!
> > 
> > And YES! he is a liar if he gives a licence without a copyright 
> > statement, i.e. an explicit claim of ownership of the 
> rights covered by the licence.
> That turns out not to be the case.
> In all signatories to the Berne convention, every work fixed 
> in a tangible medium, including a grocery list, is copyright. 
>  No signatory may require particular formalities such as a 
> copyright notice.

Do you provide a licence for your grocery list? Let's be serious (or keep
being stupid by systematically noit seeing the truth).

You forget ONCE AGAIN the important thing, the existence of the licence.

If you make such a "formality" (your term) by providing a licence, you MUST
also provide a clear statement and claim about your ownership: the copyright
notice is such a statement. It's a much simpler "formality" than trying to
compose or select a licence.

In fact this is the preexistence of the ownership that is the most important
thing: if this is something that someone else can contest, you must first
affirm your right: this is the claim, and this is the first step to do, in
order to protect your claim from others' claims. You can't provide any valid
licence without these first two conditions: the preexistence of a right, and
an explicit claim of these rights.

You are trying to convince everyone by just starting by the end. No, a
licence is NOT valid and it is even frequently COMPLETELY ILLEGAL without
first statistifying the prior two conditions.

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