[License-discuss] Government licenses

Brian Behlendorf brian at behlendorf.com
Tue Jun 4 05:28:40 UTC 2019

On Mon, 3 Jun 2019, Christopher Sean Morrison via License-discuss wrote:
> There are myriad complexities and Gov’t players encounter not just a 
> lack of support, but antagonistic and ill-informed opinions pervasive. 
> As it stands GOSS is continuing to grow, despite a general lack of 
> support and understanding, but I do believe we and the OSI can do 
> better, can do more, and it will only help Open Source.

For an oddball government open source licensing story of the day, 
check this out:


The California Assembly just approved a bill, AB1784, that encourages the 
development of Open Source (OSI-approved)-licensed elections software by 
providing $16M worth of "matching funds" to CA counties (who actually buy 
elections gear) when they procure such software.  I feel this is an 
appropriate use of my tax dollars and while no panacea for securing 
elections, will hopefully lead to more public scrutiny in the process of 
elections and more competition for procurement dollars.  So far so good.

However, it also stipulates a 3:1 matching ($3 for every $1 spent, up to 
$8M of the total fund) when that software is exclusively GPLv3 licensed.

I'd love to understand the arguments that led to the conclusion that GPLv3 
licensed works represent a greater public good here and thus justify more 
subsidy than others.


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