Public domain vs. copyright

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at
Sat Mar 1 20:30:11 UTC 1997

On Fri, 28 Feb 1997 Sfauthor at wrote:

> Therefore, all the texts discussed in Indology are in the public domain and
> simply not copyrightable. 

That goes for the *original*, i.e., manuscript of the work.  But copyright 
inheres in the work of editing etc.  Copyright is a very practical matter:
it is about rights to actually copy a physical object, including a
computer file.  The particular computer files in question are copyrighted,
and will remain so until 70 years after the death of the creator of the

... at least that is my present belief.  Copyright is a nightmare to
understand, and frankly nobody has solved the many problems that arise
when trying to apply the print-oriented Copyright laws to the internet. 
The only person I know who contributed meaningfully and practically to
this area is Ted Nelson, author of Literary Machines (I have a signed
copy!) who solved all these problems in his Xanadu system.  Sadly, that
initiative seems to have run into the sand.  There was an excellent
writeup on it in Wired magazine about a year ago.


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