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Re: GNU License, Again

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 22:49:28 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

John Hasler <> writes:

> David Kastrup writes:
>> Because it does not stay "public domain" when it is assembled with other
>> material.
> This is not true in the US.  Elements of a work that are in the public
> domain are not protected by copyright even if the work does contain
> other elements that are protected.

If they can still be isolated as separate parts of the work.  Since
copyright does not depend on copyright notices and the people
utilizing PD works are neither required to leave them unchanged nor
indicate which parts are completely extracted from the PD source, the
only reliable way to pick things apart is to utilize an unmodified
copy, and then it is pretty pointless to extract them from the
combined work.

There is one case where this could possibly be slightly relevant: you
have a friend with the original source, but no fast internet access.
The friend sends you the SHA256 sums of the public domain source
files, and you establish that they correspond with most of your source
files.  For the few files for which they don't correspond, your friend
sends you the original.

But in most cases, there is little point in trying to pick apart
things and rely on them being completely unchanged.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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