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Questions tagged [public-domain]

The public domain contains works that have no copyright on them, either because the author dedicated it to the public domain or because copyright has expired.

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48 votes
9 answers
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Does open source qualify as being part of the public domain?

According to Google, Open Source is... denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. It seems to be that the product seems to ...
Zizouz212's user avatar
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28 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why is there no public domain licensing in Europe?

Why are there issues with public domain in Europe, that forces public domain projects to use CC0, 0BSD, Unlicense or other similar licenses? I.E. why is it that, when someone dedicates a work to the ...
Max Xiong's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is there any reason to not use 0BSD?

I recently came across the Zero-Clause BSD License (also known as the Free Public License). A version of the BSD license that does not include any restrictions. I've looked for information regarding ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 313
20 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I place software in the public domain

I know CC0 and the WTFPL for example exist to grant all rights associated with the public domain, without placing it in the public domain, because this is difficult, or in some cases impossible. I ...
Martijn's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
6k views

Combining code written under different licenses (Eiffel Forum License, MIT and Apache), what are my options?

So I'm new to all this licensing jazz, and I've just started work on a project I'd like to one day publish as open source. I've found a couple of projects so far that have code to accomplish stuff ...
CupOfTea's user avatar
  • 303
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

May someone else apply a license to CC0 material?

Alice licensed her work under CC0 1.0. May Bob take Alice’s work and publish it under another Creative Commons license (e.g., CC BY-SA)? If yes, may Bob publish it under his own name (i.e., not ...
unor's user avatar
  • 5,670
13 votes
3 answers
483 views

What happens to an open source project when the copyright expires?

With conventional copyright, N years after the author's death the copyright expires (where N varies from country to country). Since free and open source licences are supported legally by copyright law,...
trichoplax is on Codidact now's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Recommended license for small script without an attribution clause?

I'm interested in publishing a small script of mine with effectively no conditions, including attribution. What's the best license to accomplish this? It looks like the most popular options are: CC0 /...
Radish's user avatar
  • 433
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

"SQLite is illegal in Germany" - really?

This blog post claims in passing that SQLite is illegal, at least in Germany, but potentially worldwide This is tacked onto another mostly-unrelated claim that GitHub's terms of service are ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 5,552
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Which SPDX-License-Identifier should I use for "Public Domain"?

My concrete example is IANA's tzdb version 2023c. As specified in https://data.iana.org/time-zones/tzdb-2023c/LICENSE the case is clear "if the files date.c, newstrftime.3, and strftime.c are ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes
3 answers
368 views

Can I create a derivative of an old book?

Copyright for old works expire at some point. In most countries that happens 70 years after authors death. Can I take a book with expired copyright (say Dickens Oliver Twist), change it substantially (...
Mnementh's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are the 0BSD and MIT-0 licenses public domain declarations?

The MIT-0 license begins with a copyright statement. MIT No Attribution Copyright <YEAR> <COPYRIGHT HOLDER> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does using a GPLv2 code generator force my project to be similarly licensed?

I use gSOAP to generate c++ code from wsdl in some project hosted on github and I am a little lost in the license compatibilities. Shortly I prefer to share my work without any license constraint, ...
mpromonet's user avatar
  • 261
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the limitations of CC0 vs Public Domain

What are the shortcomings of CC0 in comparison with Public Domain? for author of work? for users? for those who modify/extend/change license of original work?
DSblizzard's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
111 views

How should I release my notes under public domain if they contain quotes from proprietary texts?

I'm keeping a GitHub repository that contains my personal notes. While I feel comfortable with releasing most of the things in the public domain, that repository does contain some quotes, mostly from ...
r3bl's user avatar
  • 1,397
9 votes
3 answers
669 views

Why use licenses? Why not release open source code to public domain?

Why do most open source projects use licenses instead of simply releasing the code into the public domain?
Geremia's user avatar
  • 303
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can software be both MIT licensed and in the public domain?

docopt.rs is dual-licensed under the MIT and Unlicense. How can the software be both copyrighted and in the public domain? Is this an example of invalid licensing?
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
760 views

Can the 0-clause BSD license be used for public domain work?

Main question Is 0BSD actually a valid license for work in the public domain? Would it cause problems in some jurisdictions? Is there a better option to publish US-public-domain uncopyrightable code ...
Dan R's user avatar
  • 193
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

How to prevent using source code as data source for machine learning activities?

I posted some library in public repository on github. Say, I do not want it to be used for machine learning purposes. General question: How could this be achieved? Spoiler: I found some collection of &...
BorisV's user avatar
  • 355
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the benefits of Unlicense/PD over BSD0?

I'm looking at the BSD0 license right now, and it looks pretty nice as something that works better than Public Domain in terms of jurisdictions and wording. What are the benefits, however, of using ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
761 views

What should be taken into account when licensing software that generate video?

For the context, I am involved in Manim Community which develop Manim (originally published by Grant Sanderson), a Python library for creating explanatory math videos. Users of the library write ...
osolmaz's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
516 views

Who is responsible for code being in the public domain?

Recently, I wanted a certain functionality that can be difficult to implement due to many special cases and subtle details in technical specifications. So I did a websearch and quickly found existing ...
Marco13's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
1 answer
466 views

Using public domain code within Apache-or-MIT licensed project

I'm interested in borrowing functions from a file in a project dual-licensed as MIT-or-UNLICENSE in my package that I intend to also be dual-licensed as Apache-or-MIT. Is this possible? How should I ...
Radish's user avatar
  • 433
6 votes
1 answer
507 views

Using public domain code in an LGPL program

I want to release a program that uses some public domain code (or a permissive license) from netlib.org under the LGPL license. Since the licenses (or lack of it) are compatible, there should be no ...
Jellby's user avatar
  • 271
5 votes
2 answers
607 views

Is public domain open source? [duplicate]

The Public Domain contains works on which copyright has expired. Basically you can do nearly anything with it. Does Public Domain therefore count as Open Source or free/libre?
Mnementh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
172 views

Releasing software as Kopimi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piratbyr%C3%A5n#Kopimi Essentially, I'm looking to release a piece of software as "Kopimi". I want to release it into the public domain so there is nothing stopping ...
g9J06iNab29weM7's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
508 views

How do I turn a public domain project into a MIT project

A while ago I released some code into the public domain, using CC0. I am now thinking, that I would like to extend that work, but have it under the MIT license -- the extensions at least. I don't ...
Frames Catherine White's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
85 views

How to require anyone who modifies a work with intent to distribute REMOVE references to the originator?

I'm on an organization's Bylaws Committee and am using a (currently private) GitHub repository to track our proposed changes/amendments. Once the committee's work is complete, the intent is to make ...
Joshua Pelton-Stroud's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
402 views

License for public "WTFYW to do" code snippets on Stack Overflow and other places?

I came across Stack Overflow's license a week ago, which I had no idea about. Seems they use CC BY-SA there (before, 3.0, now, 4.0). If I'm publishing code there, it's because I want anyone to do ...
Edw590's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
1 answer
141 views

Credit for re-used public domain code?

If I get some code off of the public domain, and I make major changes, can I re-license it and put my copyright on it?
Nate's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
1 answer
190 views

Can I use public domain content in my CC-BY-SA-licensed work?

If I create a Creative-Commons-licensed work, say CC-BY-SA 4.0, and I include some CC0/public domain content: Do I have to explicitly mark the public domain content as such? Can the entire work be ...
bitmask's user avatar
  • 253
4 votes
2 answers
268 views

The specifics of licensing public domain code within project under GNU GPLv3+

I'm developing a project which I'm about to release under the GNU GPL 3+ license. It does, however, contain a number of public domain subroutines. Question: How do I go about placing a GPL license ...
user162404's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
866 views

Public domain software in Europe

I've just found out that in some countries in Europe, one can't use public domain libraries in commercial software (e.g. Germany). Parts of the Linux libraries come under public domain (e.g. files ...
ossx's user avatar
  • 655
3 votes
1 answer
306 views

Buying a license to public domain software (where PD is recognized)?

Are there ever any practical reasons for purchasing an explicit license to "public-domain" software, assuming both the software developer and the user reside in jurisdictions where the public domain ...
habs's user avatar
  • 301
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can Public Domain use GPL licensed library/program?

A similar question already asked here (https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/159023/can-cc0-code-use-a-gpl-library) but my question is a little bit different, perhaps more accurately....
mlibre's user avatar
  • 133
2 votes
1 answer
173 views

Using code with copyright waiver and no license

I have come across a file in a repository that says the following source code put in public domain by xxx, no copyright It does not contain an explicit license, just the aforementioned waiver. My ...
0xdeadbeef's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
347 views

Can CC0 works be called "Copyright free"?

When a work is the Public domain it is "free of any copyright" so it can be called "Copyright free". When I use the CC0 license I am waiving off all of rights and dedicating it to the public domain. ...
nshunz's user avatar
  • 357
2 votes
1 answer
275 views

Am I allowed to use these gifs for my game?

I am a game developer and while searching for assets to put in my game I stumbled across this website. I came across this website and the FAQs were not clear on whether or not I can use the assets for ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
694 views

Open source project on a closed source engine (Unity) with GPL covered data

There's a project called Endless Sky It's license for Source code is GPL, The license for Graphics is CC-BY, CC-BY-SA and Public Domain. The license for Data .txt files with content like this is ...
Gensys LTD's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

How did software copyright work in the US before 1978? [closed]

Prior to the Copyright Act of 1976 (which, confusingly, only went into effect in 1978) the copyright rules were different. One of the things that was introduced was that after the beginning of 1978, ...
David Given's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
209 views

Can I include Jenny Everywhere in a licensed work?

Jenny Everywhere is an "open source" character made before there were Creative Commons licenses. When including her in a work you are supposed to include the Jenny Everywhere Paragraph: The ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
1 vote
1 answer
812 views

Can I use BSD / MIT licensed code in a public-domain equivalent project?

As far as I know, the BSD 3-clause and MIT licenses are functionally equivalent. Can I take BSD/MIT-licensed code and use it in a project which I then release under CC0, the Unlicense, or similar? (...
SilverWolf's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Does the GNU GPL imply that I hold copyright?

Would it be possible to release my copyright (essentially put it in the public domain) but still have the software licensed under the GNU GPL?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Can I use "unless otherwise noted this project is released under XXX"?

I have a project which uses unmodified libraries with MIT-like licenses. I don't include source code of these libraries in my project tree, just include some its configuration files which have full ...
Canis Lupus's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
248 views

MVN repository artifact licence?

I have the following question. One commercial license scanning tool notified me that following artifact: https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.jboss.xnio/xnio-api/3.3.8.Final has a public domain, ...
Vladimir M's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
204 views

Can I use "public domain" data in MIT-licensed software?

I want to use a small dataset that a university professor posted on his web page (a list of English words). The data is part of a larger corpus of data that accompanies a textbook (written by said ...
ForsakenCubist's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
939 views

If authors of open source software can be held liable for (accidentally) infringing (vaguely worded) software patents, why add one's name to it?

If person A writes software and says "I wrote it and this is my name", she can potentially be sued by a patent troll who says "I invented the program statement and the variable". If person A writes ...
eonnu's user avatar
  • 47
1 vote
1 answer
200 views

Copyright expiration and public domain of books [closed]

The post is actually migrated. I have been looking that many books published with copyright notice like: Copyright © by [abc] publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be ...
Pandya's user avatar
  • 2,092
0 votes
2 answers
102 views

Releasing to the public domain fragments of permissive licensed code

I want to release to the public domain a software project that copies verbatim (with minor formatting) one function from another project licensed with a permissive license (this one): Copying and ...
user3368561's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Can I place restrictions on public domain software that I modify. I want to make closed source but freely available binary

Can I place restrictions on public domain software that I modify. I want to make closed source but freely available binary.
Richard Green's user avatar