For Approval: NASA Open Source Agreement Version 1.1

Rod Dixon rodd at
Tue Feb 17 19:52:48 UTC 2004

Technically, you could slap a license on the work (and, thereby,
assert copyright), but no one may care about your licensed version
since the work remains in the public domain. As a practical matter, you
could "add value" to the public domain work and then license it. Or, you
could create a derivative work. Or, you could do nothing to the work, but
distribute the work "better" than the federal government does (this last
choice is a frequent use of public domain works). Consequently, Brian is


rod at

On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 jcowan at wrote:

> Brian Behlendorf scripsit:
> > So what happens when I download the code under a FOIA/public domain issue,
> > and then relicense under a BSD license?  Don't I have the right to
> > relicense PD works?
> You can do anything you want to with a public domain work except try to assert
> a valid copyright on it, which is one of the incidents of the BSD or any
> other open-source license.  So, no.
> --
> John Cowan  jcowan at
> "You cannot enter here.  Go back to the abyss prepared for you!  Go back!
> Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master.  Go!" --Gandalf
> --
> license-discuss archive is at
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