On 2/19/18, 8:38 AM, "License-discuss on behalf of Ben Hilburn"
on behalf of bhilb...@gmail.com<mailto:bhilb...@gmail.com>> wrote:
Not sure I'm following your argument, here? If a party has been contracted by
the government to write code, as part of contract negotiations the government
can require that the code be delivered as FOSS. Especially with the recent
changes in the NDAA, the government is clearly trying to push acquisition
officers to be more knowledgeable about these things.
My point was that there may be no contractor code at all and therefore there is
no code under any sort of FOSS license, just public domain. Depending on the
existence of contractor developed code under a FOSS license to make the entire
code base FOSS doesn’t work in this case.
The DDS policies posted online don't discuss patents much, aside from a bit in
the license selection portion, "Our suggestions for permissive licenses are
MIT, ISC, or BSD-3 unless patents are potentially involved in which case we
suggest Apache 2.0 although the others work too." I have no idea how
intra-government but inter-org patent licensing works, though, so I don't have
anything to add to this piece of the discussion. It's worth noting, though,
that the broader open-source community has long dealt with the same question,
"what if someone unknowingly implements a patent and publishes it under the
Apache license," problem that you raise here; I don't think it's unique.
The use of Apache 2.0 is problematic because it IS a fairly unique problem.
The issue is the USG as a single entity implies that a patent grant under
Apache 2.0 provided by the ARL gives that patent away even if it was not
created by the ARL but some other part of the federal government.
Your scenario is different where the developers implements a patent someone
else owns. They don’t own the patent so the patent grant under Apache is
The only place that the broader open-source community has dealt with this issue
is in the educational world which is why we have ECL v2. Which is Apache with
a patent grant only for those patents owned by the authors of the code.
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