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Public Domain

Software Freedom Law Show episode 0x23

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Aaron, Karen and Bradley discuss issues around the public domain and how it relates to copyright in general and copyrights on software in particular.

Running time: 00:58:13.

Show Notes

Segment 0 (00:36)

  • Aaron, Bradley, and Karen consider Aaron's status as a “special host”. Bradley wondered if that meant Aaron hosted a parasite. (Aaron subsequently got sick two days after recording, and is now playing the role of a biological “special host”.)
  • Bradley joked that copyright never expires in the USA due to retroactive extensions enacted by Congress. Aaron noted the Sony Bono 1998 Copyright Extension Act was the most recent act to do this. (05:47, 06:28)
  • Public domain dedications are relatively easy in the USA, but moral rights issues in European jurisdictions make public domain dedications difficult. (17:19)
  • The Berne Convention respects the issue of public domain, insofar as something definitely in the public domain in one country doesn't fall under copyright restrictions in other countries, but doesn't do much more than that regarding public domain. (17:30)
  • Creative Commons wrote CC0 to attempt to harmonize public domain dedication around the world. (18:53)
  • Bradley pointed out that the “WTFPL” license FAQ points out that it exists in part because of difficulties in putting things in the public domain in some jurisdictions. (25:36)
  • Karen looked up the word merchantability in Black's Law Dictionary. (30:07)

Segment 1 (29:52)

Tags: bkuhn, karen, copyrights, aaronw, public domain

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