[License-discuss] The per se license constructor

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Mon Mar 18 13:06:18 UTC 2019

On Sun, Mar 17, 2019 at 10:23 PM Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:

No, I don't believe this is the problem. The problem is that the terms do
> pernicious things like attempt to limit the public domain to national
> boundaries with contractual terms. It's a terrible precedent for OSI to
> approve.

Well, that pretty much reflects the law:  U.S. government employee work
product *is* in the public domain in the U.S., and *isn't* in the public
domain in other countries unless the foreign law makes it so.

Speculation: the "law of the shorter term" which many countries have (but
the U.S. does not) might treat U.S. government employee works as having a
copyright term of 0 years, meaning that in such countries the copyright
term would also be 0 years.  But whether "not copyrighted in the first
place" is the same as "copyrighted for 0 years" for such purposes is a

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Is a chair finely made tragic or comic? Is the portrait of Mona Lisa
good if I desire to see it? Is the bust of Sir Philip Crampton lyrical,
epical or dramatic?  If a man hacking in fury at a block of wood make
there an image of a cow, is that image a work of art? If not, why not?
                --Stephen Dedalus
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