9

You are free to use BSD licensed code for anything, even commercial, closed source software.

How is that any different than just releasing it as public domain?

migrated from stackoverflow.com May 13 '11 at 15:49

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11

The BSD licenses explicitly disclaims any warranty, which is not the case with public domain. For this reason alone, using the BSD license instead of releasing something as public domain is highly recommended.

In addition, some jurisdictions do not recognise the concept of releasing your work into the public domain, i.e. relinquishing your copyright!

  • 2
    In other words, it helps reduce the change of litigation. – M. Dudley May 13 '11 at 17:21
  • But you could release under CC-0, which also disclaims any warranty, and has provisioning to work in many jurisdictions which might not have a concept of public domain. – Mitar Oct 13 '17 at 15:34
6

With a public domain work, anybody else can republish your work and claim it as their own, and you have no recourse to stop them.

5

Public Domain is region specific. From here:

There is no such thing as “putting a work in the public domain”, you America-centered, Commonwealth-biased individual. Public domain varies with the jurisdictions, and it is in some places debatable whether someone who has not been dead for the last seventy years is entitled to put his own work in the public domain.

  • This answer presents the quote almost as if it's some sort of authoritative answer, but it's just one person's opinion. While it may be a valid opinion, the way it is included in this answer seems to give the quote more weight than it deserves. – Bryan Oakley Jul 27 '13 at 1:52
  • @BryanOakley - fair enough, but authoritative in this context would mean a link to the text of actual copyright laws related to "public domain" from around the world. – Scott Whitlock Oct 2 '13 at 14:36
  • But you could release under CC-0, which has provisioning to work in many jurisdictions which might not have a concept of public domain. – Mitar Oct 13 '17 at 15:34

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