[Imports-us] [Talk-us] Releasing my data into Public Domain

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Thu Jul 18 19:27:55 UTC 2013

There are cases where other levels of governments believe their data is
public domain, depending on the laws they work under. We regularly take
governments at their word when they say their data is public domain.


From: joshthephysicist at gmail.com [mailto:joshthephysicist at gmail.com] On
Behalf Of Josh Doe
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:59 AM
To: Paul Norman
Cc: Ian Dees; Elliott Plack; Imports US; OSM US Talk List
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] [Imports-us] Releasing my data into Public Domain


On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Paul Norman <penorman at mac.com> wrote:

Neither of those is public domain. I know for individuals there can be
issues releasing data into the public domain, but if a government's lawyers
feel their data is public domain, I generally just take them at their word.

If the data is public domain then a simple statement that the data is public
domain should be enough. With PD you're not actually licensing the data,
you're stating that it's not covered by copyright and there aren't any
exclusive rights that need licensing.


Sadly it's not that simple. Public domain can only be works of the US
federal government (for use within the US specifically), or where copyright
has expired, and I'm sure a few other edge cases. Whether you like it or
not, in the US, unless you're an employee of the US federal government, you
can't release works into the public domain. That's what CC0 is for. Read
more here:





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