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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Public Domain Software
Date Tue, 11 Jan 2005 20:54:25 GMT
I agree with Brian's analysis. There is no unambiguous way to put such works
into the "public domain."

Only thing I'd add is that I take these two donors at their word and
consider any risk to Apache of using that software -- despite the absence of
a clear BSD-like license -- to be minimal. 

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  ●  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of “Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom 
               and Intellectual Property Law” (Prentice Hall 2004)
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Behlendorf [mailto:brian@collab.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:46 PM
> To: Phil Steitz
> Cc: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: Re: Public Domain Software
> 
> 
> Phew, this is a hard one, since (AIUI) it's actually very difficult to
> abandon one's IP rights and put it in something called "the public
> domain".  A conservative read of the below is that the only thing the
> notice does is act as a disclaimer; it doesn't expressly allow one to
> modify or redistribute, rights that would need to be granted in order for
> the work to be incorporated into an ASF-licensed work.  On the other hand,
> doesn't the word "public domain" imply that all rights associated with
> copyright have been granted?  Anyone know the case law around this?
> 
> If there's any way to contact MathWords or the people at math.nist.gov and
> ask them to put an MIT or BSD license on the code (which should accomplish
> exactly what they intend) that would be a much more solid approach.  As it
> sits today, the question is probably "are we satisfied that neither NIST
> nor MathWorks would ever sue us or our licensees for copyright violation"
> - a value judgement I'd guess the board would need to make, based on
> feedback here.
> 
>  	Brian
> 
> 
> On Mon, 10 Jan 2005, Phil Steitz wrote:
> > The Jakarta Commons Math project would like to incorporate some code
> from the
> > JAMA matrix package <http://math.nist.gov/javanumerics/jama>. The web
> page
> > includes the following copyright statement:
> > ------------------------------------------------------
> > Copyright Notice  This software is a cooperative product of The
> MathWorks and
> > the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which has been
> > released to the public domain. Neither The MathWorks nor NIST assumes
> any
> > responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no
> > guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any
> > other characteristic.
> > ---------------------------------------------------
> >
> > The sources include no copyright notices or @author tags. Is there any
> reason
> > that we cannot incorporate code from these sources into Commons Math?
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Phil
> >
> >
> >
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