Posted Nov 30, 2007 17:27 UTC (Fri) by JoeBuck
In reply to: This is a mistake, but he also provided a license, so it doesn't really matter
Parent article: qmail released into the public domain
It used to be common in the early 90s, before people were as sophisticated as they are now about licenses, to see code posted on Usenet with a comment like "this code is in the public domain. You can do anything you want with it as long as you don't make money off of it". That's contradictory, of course, and there's ever a dispute, a judge might find that the second statement trumps the first.
If DJB's statement placing the code in the public domain contains any words indicating other terms, then he hasn't really put it in the public domain. I haven't parsed his message carefully, so I don't know.
The main reason for a software author to prefer the BSD license to "public domain", especially if he/she is an American, is liability. The BSD license has a loud "no warranty" clause; without terms like this, if a defect in DJB's software causes anyone any harm, it's conceivable that DJB could be held to be legally responsible.
to post comments)