[License-discuss] The per se license constructor

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Mon Mar 18 18:44:52 UTC 2019

On Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 6:07 AM John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

> 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.

I want to see the United States Government go to court in some other
country to protect a copyright that it would not honor in its own courts. I
don't think that would go far. And of course there isn't much real value to
protect. This is after all supposed to be Open Source software.

> 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
> question.

I think the proper handling of this sort of work is for the US to abandon
such tenuous and probably unenforceable rights, in the interest of clarity.
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