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An honest question: Isn't it that in some legal systems, an absence of license means public domain?

Most of the world implemented the Berne Convention, which creates a thing called "copyright". In the world of copyright, absence of license means all rights reserved, except for "fair use", "fair dealing" and similar exceptions. In the world outside copyright law everything is in the public domain, no licenses necessary.


The Berne Convention didn't invent copyright.

I don't think that was ever implied.

Well, you can have copyright without declaring that everything is copyrighted when it is created. A lot of countries had systems like that until they ratified the Berne Convention.

No, it wasn't implied, it was stated outright that the Berne Convention "creates a thing called copyright" (when, in fact, the Berne Convention harmonizes certain provisions of copyright law among those countries who adhere to it.)

It's possible in any of the countries that are gray on this map, but I'm not sure if any of them actually do it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Berne_Convention_signatori...

In general, unless you live in Burma or something, you can assume that if you don't have a license, you can't do anything with any content.

Before 1989 the United States required a copyright symbol and year of publishing on every work. After 1989, i don't know of any country that still does this.


AFAIK in USA at least, until 1976 that was the deal. From that year on, everything is copyright by default.

This change was because The Night of the Living Dead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Living_Dead#Copyri...

While I'm sure there is a legal system somewhere in the world that does that most places have automatic rights for intellectual property, even if you give it away for free. Trying to use this font for business would result in compliance issues, because it's unclear what you can and can't do with it.

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