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This has me wondering what is the first free or open-source software that will "fall" into the public domain, and when that will be?



Free (libre) software sort of faded into existence, simply because the notion to copyright software faded into existence, and free software sort of relies on people to consider that software can be copyrighted in the first place. "A-2 System" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-0_System is roughly the first open-source software, although I'm not sure an explicit license text even existed.

The second question is what will enter public domain first, business-owned software or individually-written software. If the latter, which open-source developer has died the earliest?


> If the latter, which open-source developer has died the earliest?

Can we just take a second to appreciate how downright inhumane copyright expiry is? It basically encourages cheering for people to die because of copyright expiry.


I agree that it's dumb. The only clear alternative, N years after the work was created, has its own problems though, such as trying to figure out when each work was created to determine whether it's in the public domain or not.


Usually getting a upper bound on when something was first published is easier than finding out when and if some random person has died.




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