8" floppy project

From: der Mouse <mouse_at_Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
Date: Tue Aug 10 13:19:25 2004

>> (This is rather disturbing, since if it's copyrighted but with no
>> license grant, it is probably illegal to do anything with it in most
>> jurisdictions.)
> That's not my understanding. I've seen several pieces of software
> where the author specificly stated the software was free but he also
> stated that he had copyrighted it in order to keep people from making
> modifications and then selling it as their own work.

I think that would, legally, count as a license grant. If such
statements from all the relevant authors accompanied FreeDOS, I
wouldn't worry about it. But I couldn't find anything of the sort.

> Wheather or not it's copyrighted ultimatly has nothing to do with
> it's cost.

Oh, I wasn't talking about cost. If it's not in the public domain and
the copyright holder has not granted a license to do something with it,
then the only things it is legal to do with it are the things covered
by the fair use exemption, which are pretty specific and limited.

>> Note that "public domain" is a specific legal term with a specific
>> meaning, and does not equal "free" for any of the common meanings of
>> "free" as applied to software.
> I don't agree with the last part of your statement. To most people
> Public Domain equates to free. "Public domain" means the "public"
> owns it legally but it's still free in that anyone can use it for
> free.

Public domain _is a subset of_ free. It does not _equal_ free; that
is, the two are not the same.

Many people confuse the two. I've even seen notices that are clearly
intended as copyright notices/licenses that (sometimes even in the same
sentence) say that something is public domain and that the author
imposes restrictions on its use - which cannot both be true.

But just because some people confuse them does not mean they are the
same thing.

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Received on Tue Aug 10 2004 - 13:19:25 BST

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