But /why/ ?
It seems to me that this whole "public domain" argument is more aiming towards making a statement then actually changing something for the benefit of FOSS.
Because in the whole article there is no argument given, - none what so ever -, how FOSS would actually benefit from all this. All we're getting are several comments on how copyright and such are outdated. For example:
"This Article argues that this IP-based approach [used by free and open-source licenses], while perhaps helpful in the beginning, is no longer necessary and in fact prevents the movements from reaching their full potential."
So what exactly is this full potential ?
Quite frankly I would have expected this to be mentioned in this article as well. If you're going to write about such topics then please come up with something a little more than merely spouting some seemingly random comments.
SO I dug up the following from the mentioned paper which curious enough is still but a draft and one which really could use some proper formatting and outlining. Its sheer hell to read, possible also why the author of this article only managed to copy a quote from the beginning...
Alas; the author first compares the public domain ("PD") model against trademarks and copyright. How he feels that those are automatically linked to FOSS is way beyond me: "A PD approach, therefore, would need to effectively override any copy rights, waive any patent rights (both with respect to any patent rights already obtained as well as prospectively), and relinquish any remedies that come with either". (page 35).
Here you see the first fail IMO. Because the author never seems to think about "the opposition". For example: would Python have been put in the PD then chances were very high that the company which is now allegedly trying to get a patent on the name could actually do so (since its completely free) after which they would fully own Python and all the assets that come with it.
I guess the author would consider that a huge win for FOSS but I only see a major failure there.
The author then goes on with arguments such as: "Containing the prospect of Trolls" (how ironic!).
He argues that a direct benefit of PD would be to limit the likelyhood of "IP Trolls". Well, I beg to differ as can be seen above. Another aspect which the author seems to be totally unaware of is how the whole patenting system actually works.
As you can see here (link to the official instructions on how to oppose a patent) one of the requirements to oppose a patent is: "In general terms, an opponent must have rights in an earlier trade mark or other form of trade sign.".
Needless to say but if you put your stuff in the PD sector you don't even have so much as copyright anymore. So instead of preventing "IP trolls" I'd say its much safer to assume that it will actually increase it. There is enough value within FOSS which a lot of companies would like to get their hands on, you can be sure of that.
Alas; all I see is a lot of 'blah blah' and theoretical approaches without being able to give one substantial argument as to how FOSS would benefit. All I see is people wanting change because of the change, possible hoping they'll be "immortalized" themselves for suggesting it.