From: Joel Young (jdy_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-11-20 11:17:35
From: Andrew Koenig <ark_at_[hidden]>
> an issue here--that all FSF wanted was to be able to put the work
> under GPL (which would also be impossible for a public-domain work).
The exact public domain work can't be copyrighted, however for all
practical purposes that is meaningless. It can be derived from and that
derivation can be copyrighted. That derived work can be rearranged with
no requirement to distinguish the new parts from the old parts. Yes, if
someone is confident they can extract the original public domain code
from the derived work, they could, but without the original public
domain code to baseline against, how can they ever know they did it
right? If they can't know they did it right, then they can't afford the
legal risk of doing it.
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