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Subject: Re: a dev question about the Sansa Clip

Re: a dev question about the Sansa Clip

From: Antony Stone <>
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 10:33:54 +0100

On Sunday 31 May 2009 08:44, Daniel Stenberg wrote:

> On Sun, 31 May 2009, Tomer Shalev wrote:
> > The *VirtualBox Open Source Edition (OSE)* is free software
> > <> released under the
> > GNU General Public License
> > <> (GPL),
> > from which some closed-source features are missing.
> >
> > This version cannot be closed again, and will remain in the public domain
> > forever.
> Let me just nitpick/correct you and mention that Public Domain is not the
> same as Free Software or Open Source. The mentioned VirtalBox software is
> not public domain but is Free Software.
> Free Software and Open Source are copyrighted software that are explictily
> licensed to be open/free. Public domain is software that has no copyright
> at all and which according to some aren't even license compatible with lots
> of free/open source licenses...

Since copyright is automatic upon creation of a piece of work, surely it isn't
possible for anything to have "no copyright"? You don't have to register
anything to get copyright (like you do with a trademark); you don't need to
have any legal agreement to get copyright (like you do with a licence);
copyright simply exists as soon as something is created.

Therefore I don't think it's possible to avoid copyright existing on a created
piece of work. However, copyright is entirely different from the licence
under which something may be used / distributed, etc.

I agree with you completely that Open Source and Free Software are entirely
different from Public Domain software, however I think Tomer's original
statement about VirtualBox being out in the public domain (without the
capitals) is meaningful. It means something is readily available without
having to go to a specific source of supply.

And yes, the most important part of all this is that once something is
licensed under the GPL, it remains open for ever, including derived works.



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Never design anything that cannot work under degraded conditions in emergency.
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Received on 2009-05-31

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