For Approval: NASA Open Source Agreement Version 1.1

Alex Rousskov rousskov at
Thu Feb 12 20:43:21 UTC 2004

On Thu, 12 Feb 2004, Bryan Geurts wrote:

> 1H. "Recipient" means anyone who acquires the Subject Software under
> this Agreement, including all Contributors.
> 1M. "Use" means the application or employment of the Subject
> Software for any purpose.
> 3F. In an effort to track usage and maintain accurate records of the
> Subject Software, each Recipient, upon receipt of the Subject
> Software, is requested to register with NASA by visiting the
> following website: ______________________________.

Does the combination of the above imply that one have to register once
one downloads NASA software? Downloading software package can be
considered "Use" (the purpose would be occupying disk space, for
example). And Use requires registration, right?

Does reading software documentation covered by the NOSA license (e.g.,
on a public Web site with a link to NOSA license) require

Is registration required for each downloaded version of the software?
Each major version? Each patch? Each installation?

If NASA registration web site is down, does one have to wait with
Using software until the site is up and operational? What if recipient
does not have Internet connectivity (she got NASA software on a CD via
mail) or NASA site is being blocked by her ISP? What if specified web
site has moved or does not exist (e.g., NASA has been shut down for

Or does "requested to register" imply no mandatory action from the
Recipient? After all, the license does not say "shall register".

Would supplying wrong name to be considered a felony or just
void the license?

> Recipient's name and personal information shall be used for
> statistical purposes only.

The above does not seem to create any conditions for or require any
actions from the Recipient. Why include this phrase? Is the intent to
render the license void if NASA uses personal information for
nonstatistical purposes?

Is publishing a list of names with the number of registrations per
month for each name a statistical purpose? How about identifying the
user that registered more times than all other users (statistical



P.S. Not sure why, but I am surprised that a government organization
would want to establish extreme tracking measures which are likely to
hinder its tax-funded software.
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