Worldwide Public Domain Dedication (WPDD)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Doesn't something overly permissive like MIT-0 or WTFPL accomplish the same thing?
A: Not really. Those are based in copyright and a person placing a work under MIT-0 or WTFPL isn't waiving any rights - The work is still copyrighted, even if the license doesn't require preservation of notices saying so (a copyright notice isn't required to exist for copyright itself to exist.) As such things like MIT-0 and WTFPL aren't trying to accomplish the same policy goal, which is a total waiver of all rights, to whatever extent that can be accomplished.

Not only that but not retaining copyright notices on something that is copyrighted is probably not a good idea anyway. Even if the license doesn't require that they be preserved, not doing so could make it harder to later track down who might have a copyright interest in a given work.

Q: Does the WPDD have a patent retaliation clause?
A: No. In essence these say that, if a licensee sues the licensor for patent infringement then any patent license that the licensee received will terminate. The WPDD doesn't include this for two reasons:

  • You need to have have patents for such a clause to work, and those are given up as part of the WPDD.
  • It runs contrary to the Statement of Purpose.

Q: Why doesn't the Worldwide Public Domain Dedication (WPDD) include trademarks?
A: The WPDD doesn't include trademarks because that's a different area of law with a different purpose: They help people identify particular goods or services as coming from a specific source. Waiving patents, copyrights, and related rights lets you reuse a Work but not to reuse someone else's trademark to cause confusion that you are that source.