Subject: RE: What happens when the copyright expires ?
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 14:40:22 -0800

I'll try to answer:

> Pardon me for this rather odd question and I hope it won't 
> cause any permanet 
> damage to anyones psychological health. My interest got 
> sparked from the 
> thread reasoning about if public domain can be considered open source.
> 
> 1) Will a work stop being open source when the copyright 
> expires and it 
> becomes part of the public domain ?

No.  Forgive me for saying this: When the copyright expires, it is
better even than open source.  It is truly free as the morning sun.  And
as such, it can be included with open source software of the future with
utter impunity.

> 2) If that is the case then can you distribute a music 
> performing program with 
> Moonlight Sonata [1] bundled and call it open source as a whole ?

Of course.  But won't Britney Spears sell more copies?  Maybe she's
worth licensing.

> 3) Furthermore if they stop being open source will they stop 
> being open source 
> when the term of the first copyright year mentioned in a 
> composite work would 
> expire or when the last would expire ?

Fear not, they won't stop being open source.  

/Larry Rosen

--
license-discuss archive is at http://crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3