[License-discuss] Becoming Public Domain After X Years

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Nov 24 03:06:32 UTC 2019

The Copyright Act makes no specific provision for copyright abandonment,
but in general any property (except land) can be abandoned by any overt act
indicating an intention to give up the rights.  I can't find any copyright
case on point, but National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications,
191 F. 2d 594 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1951 says so by way of dictum.

On Sat, Nov 23, 2019 at 11:55 AM David Woolley <forums at david-woolley.me.uk>

> On 22/11/2019 21:01, Martin L via License-discuss wrote:
> > I was wondering if anyone had links/knowledge about licenses which,
> > after X amount of time (say, 10 years), release the code into the public
> > domain?
> My understanding is that, even in the USA, it is an open question as to
> whether you can put something into the public domain before it would
> lapse into it, and, in most other countries it is definitely not
> possibly.  That's one reason for the existence of CC0.
> Even where US federal government works are in the public domain in the
> USA, that is not true of the same works in other countries.
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