|Trinity Atomic Home -> Why Copyright?|
Copyrights are generally thought to reduce freedom by restricting how information, be it documents, music, photos or videos, can be copied and reused. (Think of the music indusltry's fight against Napster and other music sharing programs.)
Copyright can also be used to guarantee freedom, which is the intent of the GNU Project's licenses for software and documentation.
I claim a copyright on all the words I have wriiten on Trinity Atomic Web Site. I also claim copyright on all the photos and videos that were taken by me personally. Finally, I claim a "collection copyright" on all the materials, public domain or otherwise, that I have brought together on this web site. By using the GNU Free Documentation License I guarantee that anyone can copy, re-use and expand upon what I have created, but only by guaranteeing the same freedom to every one else. (This only applies to the material I have actually copyrighted, so see below about the Public Domain material on this web site.
The "public domain" is a legal term. Think of it as the timeless repository of civilization. Whatever is in the public domain belongs to no one, which really means it belongs to everyone. The greatest works of Western civilization, from Aristotle to Shakespeare to Grimm's Fairy Tales, are in the public domain.
In a particularly generous provision of U.S. copyright law, any work by an employee of the U.S. government in the course of employment is automatically in the public domain. We the people paid for it with our taxes and it belongs to us. Most of the documents, photos, maps and videos I have collected on Trinity Atomic Web Site are from U.S. Government documents and believed to be in the public domain to the best of my knowledge. Unlike some web sites, I do not believe that adding HTML mark-up to these docments in any way changes their public domain status. You can re-use individual items without even asking my permission, though courtesy demands you give me credit and a link back to my web site. In the future I will try to better document the sources of public domain items on my web site to make it easier for others to verify the public domain status of these items.
The material presented here is provided as a public service. I have paid close attention to accuracy in preparing the U.S. government documents presented here and they are in the public domain to the best of my knowledge. However, no warranties of any kind, express or implied, are made to you as to the material presented here, including but not limited to warranties of merchantability, accuracy, fitness for a particular purpose, or as to copyright status.
Copyright © 1995-2003
Gregory Walker (trinatomic at earthlink dot net),
Creator of Trinity Atomic Web Site.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1, or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
Last updated: August 13, 2005.