WIPO Copyright Treaty - Worldwide DMCA (was: European DMCA)

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Wed Aug 8 08:30:53 UTC 2001

On Wed, 8 Aug 2001 09:39:03 +0200, Alessandro Rubini said:

> To my knoledge, a work is told to be in the public domain when the
> exclusive rights of the author (copy rights) have expired. What you

True, 70 years after the death of the author it is a public good but
for practial usage you have to find a copy which has been published 
>70 years ago.

> can't give up is the "moral" right of being the author, but that has
> little practical meaning, as far as I can tell.

The only problem is that some U.S. authors say: "I put this into the
public domain" - this is not sufficient because this term is only useful
under U.S. copyright law and afaik not part of the Bern Convention.

Instead of putting something into the "public domain" an author
should give explicit permission like:

# Copyright (C) 2001 Joe Random Hacker
# This file is free software; as a special exception the author gives
# unlimited permission to copy and/or distribute it, with or without
# modifications, as long as this notice is preserved.
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
# WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law; without even the

so that it can be used outside the U.S. without problems.  The
drawback is that the copyright notice has to be put into all derived
works - but that is something a responsible hacker always does - it is
needed to keep track of the changes and the legal status of a work.



#include <ianal.h>
Werner Koch        Omnis enim res, quae dando non deficit, dum habetur
g10 Code GmbH      et non datur, nondum habetur, quomodo habenda est.
Privacy Solutions                                        -- Augustinus

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