[License-discuss] Government licenses

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Thu May 30 12:24:50 UTC 2019

On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 7:38 PM Pamela Chestek <pamela at chesteklegal.com>

> The Berne Convention also says in Article 7(8) that "unless the
> legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term [of protection]
> shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work."
> https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/text.jsp?file_id=283698#P127_22000 The
> country of origin is the United States and the term, for government works,
> is zero years. So unless legislation in a different country provides
> otherwise, the term in a different country shall not exceed that of the US,
> that is, it shall not exceed zero.

While I wish it were the case,  US government copyright was not expressed
in terms of a different term of copyright (IE: That copyright immediately
expires).  It was expressed as a limitation to copyright, with limitations
and exceptions to copyright being specific to each country.  I agree with
Brendan that it is Article 5(2) that applies in this case (even though as a
matter of policy I wish it were otherwise).

In Canada, Crown Copyright exists and thus this particular dilemma doesn't
exist.  Different solutions have been proposed:

Relevant from the Open First White paper
*Choosing a Licence*

*You must publish your code under an Open Source Initiative approved
licence <https://opensource.org/licenses>. For example, Canadian Digital
Service (CDS) uses the MIT licence. Other recommended licences are Apache
2.0, GPL 3.0, LGPL 3.0 and AGPL 3.0. All code produced by civil servants is
automatically covered by Crown Copyright.*

Also relevant:

Note: As a matter of policy, I work with many fellow Canadians to abolish
crown copyright.  It is also my hope that when this happens the GoC will
continue the suggested policy of adopting existing FLOSS licenses for
jurisdictions where copyright will still exist, and not try to circumvent
the GoC copyright limitation by asserting rights within Canada which the
policy intended not to exist.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20190530/0a0cdf82/attachment.html>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list