For Approval: TVA Open Source License

Carroll, James Ritchie jrcarrol at
Fri Sep 11 19:32:54 UTC 2009

Thank you for all your responses. Not being a lawyer myself, but merely
a lowly programmer, I find all this chatter fascinating.

I've been talking with our OGC group about your responses. At this point
they just want me to collect your responses so they can go through them
later. Their initial comment to me was that TVA is a very unique
government entity operating in many ways more like a company than a
government agency. TVA is self-funded through its rate payers and
receives no government subsidies. This is apparently reflected in the
changes to the NOSA document where "United States Government" is
replaced by "Government Agency" defined early on as "TVA" - this was a
very important change for them.  As a result they said it would be
highly unlikely that TVA could use a 1.4 version of the NASA agreement
even if NASA was willing to change it.

I will send your responses collectively to OGC on Monday afternoon and
let you know how they respond.
I apologize if I have perhaps added more confusion than solution to this


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Perens [mailto:bruce at] 
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 2:56 PM
To: Tzeng, Nigel H.
Cc: Carroll, James Ritchie; OSI License Review;
rpadilla at
Subject: Re: For Approval: TVA Open Source License

I agree with Nigel that it would be desirable for the Open Source 
community for licenses to be merged if such is possible. License 
proliferation and the need to make legal decisions regarding a large 
number of license combinations is a continuing and increasing problem 
for us. It would be nice if you could ask NASA.

This is really a patent license, as I don't see that any other 
significant rights are being granted. If there aren't any patents 
granted, I can't see that there is any reason for anyone to accept the 
license, and there's no consideration in either direction.

Thus, it would make sense for you to list the patents you know about.



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