[License-discuss] Government licenses

Smith, McCoy mccoy.smith at intel.com
Tue May 28 20:26:02 UTC 2019

>>From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org] On Behalf Of Ben Hilburn
>>Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 1:19 PM
>>To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org
>>Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Government licenses

>>There are prominent examples of various orgs trying clever ways to get around this, as Van mentioned. One recent example is the NSA's release of Ghidra, where they include a license (Apache 2.0), then a `NOTICE` file that says it cannot apply >>to the entire codebase but that *it is meant to*. Check out this `Licensing Intent` section from the Ghidra Github repository which is the most clear description I've seen, from a government agency, laying out the problem and their attempted >>work-around: https://github.com/NationalSecurityAgency/ghidra/blob/master/NOTICE#L15

IIRC, this was the sort of thing that people who were questioning various provisions in NOSA (and other GOSS licenses) were suggesting would be the better solution – use an existing open source license (like Apache); to the extent that there might be uncopyrightable parts in the licensed code base (because, public domain, but also because, inter alia idea/expression, fair use, etc.), the license wouldn’t apply, at least in the places where there was no copyright (like, the US for USG employee work).

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