[License-discuss] US Army Research Laboratory Open Source License proposal

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Sat Jul 23 09:08:49 UTC 2016

On 22/07/16 22:01, Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US) wrote:
> Unfortunately, we cannot directly use the Apache 2 license for all of our
> code.  Most of our researchers work for the US Federal Government and under US
> copyright law any works they produce during the course of their duties do not
> have copyright attached, so we have to rely on contract law as a protection
> mechanism within the USA.

Is there not a large problem here, as you have turned what is currently
a license into a contract, and yet it is still titled "license"?

Does the OSI approve contracts?

And am I about to get various opinionated lawyers telling me that the
license/contract distinction is bogus? :-)

Also, another question for Cem: what do you mean by "a protection
mechanism"? If you are trying to release something under liberal open
source terms like Apache, and it turns out that the USG doesn't hold
copyright in the thing anyway, isn't that "job done"? What needs
"protecting"? Things like misrepresentation are surely already illegal
without you needing to say so in an agreed document.


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