[License-discuss] Government licenses

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Tue May 28 20:24:28 UTC 2019

On Tue, May 28, 2019 at 3:41 PM Smith, McCoy <mccoy.smith at intel.com> wrote:

> But if it’s public domain, the government has no right to dictate how
> those modifications are subsequently licensed.  That’s sort of the whole
> point of public domain.

Government code is only public domain if it is written by actual government
*employees* like Arthur David Olson (creator of the Olson timezone database
and supporting code, now maintained at <https://www.iana.org/time-zones>.
 If software written by government *contractors*, which much of it is, its
copyright status is whatever the contract says, and typically the
contractor retains that copyright.

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Note that nobody these days would clamor for fundamental laws of *the theory
of kangaroos*, showing why pseudo-kangaroos are physically, logically,
metaphysically impossible.  Kangaroos are wonderful, but not *that*
         --Daniel Dennett on zombies
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