FLOSS Weekly 160

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FLOSS Weekly
Episode 160



At 48 minutes in David Wheeler claims that works created by US government employees in the course of their official duties are only public domain in the United States but may be copyrighted elsewhere. 17 USC section 105 states, "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise." This section precludes the creation of copyright over any work created by the United States Government and has no geographical restriction in extent within its wording. Although its actual effect is limited to the United States as a matter of US federal law in many jurisdictions that law itself would be regarded as a release of works into the public domain and in jurisdictions where the Berne Convention rule of shorter term has been adopted, such as the EU member states, the level of protection provided under US law would automatically apply under their domestic law as well (subject to rules about place of first publication).

External Links

US Code Title 10 Subsection 2377

Questions from the audience


Production Information

  • Edited by: Jeff
  • Notes:
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