Don't put your software in the public domain

Marko Rauhamaa marko at
Sat Jun 4 17:26:30 EDT 2016

Terry Reedy <tjreedy at>:

> On 6/4/2016 4:24 AM, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
>> In Finland, it is common for families to have a printed copy of the
>> law on the bookshelf.
> How wonderful that 'the law' can fit in a book.

Must be abridged, although I'm not sure.

>> Families traditionally sort out things like inheritances without the
>> involvement of lawyers. Nowadays, the law is available online, of
>> course.
> For free, I presume.  I just discovered that the Delaware Code is now
> online

Yes, for free.

California, too, has posted its laws online. However, the traditions are
different in that American laws aren't the whole story: you'll also have
to know the precedents. Precedents play a role in Finland, as well, but
here laws tend to be more specific and precedents don't bind courts so

AFAIK, American precedents are *not* freely available. Precedent
databases are available only for a fee to law firms. Thus, only lawyers
can hope to know what the de-facto law is. The online statutes don't
give you nearly enough information. (I once tried to figure out who was
supposed to yield in a tricky merging situation in California. The
California Vehicle Code didn't seem to provide any principle that would
have given the right answer. While perusing the laws, I did notice that
the DMV driving recommendations for a large part don't seem to be based
on the Vehicle Code. For example, I couldn't find any mention of
interleaving in the Code.)


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