[License-discuss] Looking for a license agreement.

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Thu Oct 6 20:48:08 UTC 2011

Rudy Lippan scripsit:

> There may not be intellectual property in the components; however,
> there is work involved in their creation.

That doesn't matter to the law.  It takes a lot of work to alphabetize
a list of millions of names, but the result is not in copyright in the
U.S.; it is in the public domain.

> I give you free use of a copy machine, but state that as a condition
> of use, you can't copy any of the books on shelf #3, even though a) I
> don't own the books and b) they are in the public domain.

You can do that because you own the copy machine.  But if a book is
in the public domain, that means that I don't own it and you don't
own it and you don't own it (and so on for the billions of people and
corporations and governments who can own things worldwide).

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
        --Arthur C. Clarke, "The Nine Billion Names of God"
                John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org>

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