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copyright & public domain

>Date: 07 Jan 1993 08:47:00 -0500
>From: bright@ENH.NIST.GOV
>Subject: copyright & public domain
>To: info-mcl@cambridge.apple.com
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7BIT
>How does one copyright code (for contribution)?  Is it really necessary?  I
>work for the government, and so cannot copyright research papers, for
>How do you make applications for Public Domain use?  Will disabling the
>compiler do?  What fees does Apple require?

In general, people include a phrase such as the following with code
submitted to public ftp sites:

 "(c) Copyright 1993 by Alyssa P. Hacker, All rights reserved
 Permission is granted for use, modification, and redistribution of 
 this code as long as this copyright notice is preserved."

This wording is just a sample, and is not from any official legal
reference. The point is just so people remember to give you credit
for writing it, but lets them use, modify, and redistribute it without
any hassles.

Some people prefer to add other restrictions, this is a matter 
of personal choice and these can be arbitrarily complex. In order for us
to legally distribute your code on our ftp site or on future MCL cd-roms,
your notice has to be written in such a way as to let us do so. Explicitly
permitting something is always nicer than implicitly 

Copyrighting is not necessary if you are not concerned about others
using your code without your permission or in ways that you cannot control.

If you don't say anything, code (as well as fiction or non-fiction)
is presumed copyrighted by the author. I believe nobody has yet sued 
someone over something like that. If you want to make life easier for
everyone, just say explicitly "This code is in the public domain" or 
whatever you intend. That way nobody will have to guess.

Apple places no restrictions if you choose to distribute .lisp (source)
files or .fasl (binary) files. 

If you choose to distribute a double-clickable stand-alone app built with 
MCL, you must remove the compiler by using the :excise-compiler T option 
to save-application, and pay a one-time fee. This fee is $100 for commercial 
apps and $10 for non-commercial ones, and is good for an unlimited number
of copies of your app. If you want to include the compiler with an app that 
you distribute, contact us and we'll negotiate something. 

For more information, contact Apple Software Licensing, 408-974-4667, or