[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: NOSA 2.0, Copyfraud and the US Government

Christopher Sean Morrison brlcad at mac.com
Mon Aug 28 18:33:36 UTC 2017

> On Aug 28, 2017, at 12:34 PM, Stephen Michael Kellat <smkellat at yahoo.com> wrote:
> As bad as it sounds, would a brief statutory clarification be useful in this instance? We can write around Congress all we want but getting them to fix this to be public domain globally is best done by amending the law. A small rider proposed through channels per the Recommendations Clause in Article II, Section 3 of the federal constitution would work nicely.

It would likely take a handful of folks just to figure out exactly what clause is unclear or what position is being changed.

Given the USG currently asserts copyright internationally, such an amendment would probably receive considerable resistance, but let’s assume it passes.  If Title 17 were changed to say no copyright protection internationally, that could clear up the issue in Article 18 of the Berne Convention — there would be expiry internationally in the country of origin, thus public domain internationally.  On the other end of the spectrum, Title 17 could be changed to remove the exemption of USG works, the implications there would be utterly HUGE, but would allow the USG to use any license.  Somewhere in the middle, Title 17 could explain the effect of putting “Copyright US Government” on a pure work of the USG, whether that constitutes fraud or invalidate protections or that it always only applies internationally.

There was discussion last year about having (official) public discourse on the Federal Register regarding the new Federal Open Source Policy and these exact issues.  That would probably be a better starting point.  The Open Source community could strategize for months, only to be shot down by a single influential DoD contractor citing market interference or harm by the USG.


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