[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: US Army Research Laboratory Open Source License proposal

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Mon Jul 25 13:24:11 UTC 2016

On 25/07/16 13:46, Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US) wrote:
> 1) Put out a notice to the world that the code covered under the license is 
> 'AS-IS'; the whole 'no warranty' part in the Apache 2.0 license.  This needs 
> to cover not only the USG, but also any contributors.  The USG is (in my 
> opinion) well-funded and capable of defending itself.  Persons or entities 
> that are charitable enough to contribute to our projects may not be; I 
> personally would consider it to be poor form to leave them unprotected after 
> they've been kind enough to help with our projects.  Notifying anyone that 
> downloads the code that there is no warranty helps protect against liability.

But "Persons or entities that are charitable enough to contribute to our
projects" also hold copyright. Therefore, you don't have to solve any
"there isn't a copyright" problem for them - you just use the Apache

It seems to me that the best way to achieve what you want is to stick an
Apache License on it and to say "some of this work may have been created
by USG employees, and those parts are not under copyright in the USA".
If someone wants to dig through and extract those parts only and turn
them into something else and put it under their own license, they can -
but who would.

Saying "all the copyrightable bits are Apache" solves your problem from
a licensing perspective.

If you want to solve the problem that the USG has no copyright by
turning a copyright license into a contract (e.g. to challenge
misrepresentation), then that's a massive change, which will be much
more of a headache than any other scheme you could come up with.


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