NASA Open Source Agreement v1.3

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at
Thu Apr 28 14:29:32 UTC 2011

There has never been a problem with combined works and NOSA to my
knowledge.  There are many projects that combine BSD, Apache, LGPL and
NOSA code.  This is clearly stated in:

3.I. A Recipient may create a Larger Work by combining Subject Software
with separate software not governed by the terms of this agreement and
distribute the Larger Work as a single product. In such case, the
Recipient must make sure Subject Software, or portions thereof,
included in the Larger Work is subject to this Agreement.

I've been a commiter on NOSA projects that include 3rd party open source
code so even 3.G doesn't restrict the ability to modify the core code with
third party open source software not of your creation so long as the
license is less restrictive than NOSA (aka permissive licenses).  Folks
have taken NOSA code and clearly forked it as a derived MPL project with
NASA's blessings then added lots of 3rd party code.

If "free" software "depends" on "combining" code from third parties then
most copyleft licenses aren't "free" software either since I can't combine
two copylefts either under the FSF interpretation of derivative works.
GPL is far more restrictive on that score than NOSA is on a practical

Are you stirring the pot or are you actually looking at using some NOSA


On 4/28/11 9:50 AM, "Jeremy Wright" <wrightjmf at> wrote:

>I searched the archive, but couldn't find this topic elsewhere.
>It's my understanding that the OSI has approved version 1.3 of the
>NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA), but the FSF (Free Software
>Foundation) has a problem with section 3, paragraph G of the license.
>The issue that the FSF cites is as follows:
>"The NASA Open Source Agreement, version 1.3, is not a free software
>license because it includes a provision requiring changes to be your
>³original creation². Free software development depends on combining
>code from third parties, and the NASA license doesn't permit this."
>Does this mean that the OSI and FSF disagree on the interpretation of
>section 3-G, or is the ability to include third party software not an
>OSI requirement for an open source license? I couldn't find any
>specific mention to the inclusion of third party code in the Open
>Source Definition, so I wanted to clarify.
>Here's a link to the NOSA license.

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