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In actual practice I do cite my sources

And I did not mean to imply anything else, I was talking about the theoretical "if you", as were you.

If you do decide to release your code as public domain you need to be aware of some things:

  1. You still need to include a notice which explicitly declares that you put your code into the public domain. Otherwise the user of your software is (theoretically) not allowed to copy, use or modify the code without your express consent.
  2. PD software is actually on a legally even more unsure footing than any licensed software. Under many jurisdictions it is unclear whether you can PD your work effectively at all. Including a license in your code (or a two-line reference to a license) makes things easier and clearer for the user of your code in general.
  3. It is possible that someone can take your PD software, modify it, declare it as their own and prevent you from using the original unless you pay them. This is not generally to be expected, but it is possible AFAIK.

In general, I think both author and user are much better off with software that has a clear free license than software which is public domain. There are reasons why OS licenses are far more popular than public domain declarations these days.

I should also clarify that I am not a fan of copyright law at all. It would make me very happy if copyright law in it's entirety were abolished tomorrow. But given the laws are what they are at the moment the only possibility to keep software as free as possible is to use one of the FLOSS licenses out there.


Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian W. Kernighan

In reply to Re^17: Why non-core CPAN modules can't be used in large corporate environments. by tirwhan
in thread Why non-core CPAN modules can't be used in large corporate environments. by Moron

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