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Re: public domain to GPL?

From: Jerry
Subject: Re: public domain to GPL?
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 21:52:06 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Sep 10, 5:53 pm, Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:
> Jerry wrote:
> > Is it possible to take a public domain program and modify it and put
> > the GPL on the modified version of the program?
> Forget the GPL nonsense. The modified version of a program "as a whole"
> with elements taken from public just can't be put under any copyright
> license because public domain can't be copyright licensed by definition.
> You may copyright license your creative *modifications* but not the
> modified version of the program "as a whole". Public domain remains
> public domain.
> regards,
> alexander.

Now I'm confused.

On this website ...
Second paragraph ...
Is this statement ...

--- [ begin quote ] ---
The simplest way to make a program free software is to put it in the
public domain, uncopyrighted. This allows people to share the program
and their improvements, if they are so minded. But it also allows
uncooperative people to convert the program into proprietary software.
--- [ end quote ] ---

It seems, according to the author of the above quote, that it is
possible to modify a public domain program and  copyright the modified
version as a whole.  (If that is true, then I figure maybe I can GPL a
modified version of a public domain program.)

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