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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 14:47:30 +0100

On Sunday 31 May 2009 13:53, Daniel Stenberg wrote:

> (I am not a lawyer)

Nor am I.

> On Sun, 31 May 2009, Antony Stone wrote:
> > Since copyright is automatic upon creation of a piece of work, surely it
> > isn't possible for anything to have "no copyright"?
> That's what lawyers and different juristictions debate.
> A) Some people claim to do things (write programs for example) that they
> hand over to "public domain". This may or may not be accepted legally.

Just because something is put into the public domain for anyone to use in any
way they wish doesn't really have anything to do with the copyright
associated with its creation. Public Domain is more like a licence to use
and distribute the software; the fact that the person who wrote it in the
first place retains copyright over it doesn't stop someone else using it in a
way the author permits.

> B) 70 years (or so) after the author of a work dies, that work becomes
> public domain. The copyright expires. That's virtually "no copyright" to me
> at least.

Oh, agreed, however since we're talking about software here, I didn't really
consider that an important factor in whether something could have "no
copyright" :)

The same thing goes for Paul's point about many countries not having signed
the Berne Convention until late last century. He's completely correct,
however in the specific case of the software we're discussing, the legal
situation pre-1980s is pretty immaterial.

> > however I think Tomer's original statement about VirtualBox being out in
> > the public domain (without the capitals) is meaningful.
> As I tried to explain, I was only nitpicking about the term Public Domain,
> as Virtualbox is by no means Public Domain. Neither express nor implied. It
> is (still) Free Software and Open Source.

Completely agreed.

VirtualBox is not Public Domain software.


The first fifty percent of an engineering project takes ninety percent of the 
time, and the remaining fifty percent takes another ninety percent of the 
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Received on 2009-05-31

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