Subject: RE: NASA requests help finding gov't use of standard OSS licenses.
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 08:38:04 -0700

 Tue, 3 May 2011 08:38:04 -0700
It is possible to take works in the public domain or created under license for a government
agency and convert them into copyrightable works that are licensed under an open source
license.

One example: The U.S. Department of Defense signed a Cooperative Research and Development
Agreement (CRADA) with a private foundation to convert its public domain software into
software licensed to the public under OSL 3.0, using AFL 3.0 as a contributor agreement.
This was possible because the agency involved, the Defense Information Systems Agency
(DISA), wanted to build a dynamic and secure open source project to manage the software
in cooperation with the government.

Perhaps NASA ought to examine that model before they start writing their own license.
I'll be glad to answer questions about this.

/Larry


Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com) 
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Cell: 707-478-8932
Apache Software Foundation, member and counsel (www.apache.org) 
Open Web Foundation, board member (www.openwebfoundation.org)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Karl Fogel [mailto:kfogel@red-bean.com]
> Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2011 6:37 PM
> To: OSI License Discuss
> Subject: NASA requests help finding gov't use of standard OSS licenses.
> 
> (This was "Re: NASA Open Source Agreement v1.3".  I've retitled the
> thread to call attention to the request for help from NASA.)
> 
> Scott Goodwin, CIO of NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate, is
> looking for examples of federal agencies releasing open source software
> under standard OSS licenses -- like BSD, Apache, GNU GPL, etc.
> 
> Part of the purpose is to evaluate the future of NASA's custom open
> source license, the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) [1].  As you can
> see from Scott's message below [2], one possibility is that existing
> OSS
> licenses could serve all of NASA's purposes, and that NOSA would no
> longer be necessary.  However, that case is best made through the
> experience other agencies have had releasing software under standard
> licenses.  Goodwin also requests pointers other agency-specific
> licenses
> (similar to NOSA), to investigate how those have worked out.
> 
> This is a really important discovery effort.  If you'd like to help,
> you
> can either follow up here with examples -- I will collate them and
> merge
> duplicates before adding them to Scott's list -- or you can send your
> example to Scott directly.
> 
> Best
> -Karl
> 
> [1] Note that version 1.3 of NOSA is considered an open source license
>     (http://opensource.org/licenses/nasa1.3), albeit a non-standard
> one.
> 
> [2] Scott Goodwin's message:
>     > I'm building the case for releasing NASA software under
> appropriate
>     > mainstream OSS licenses such as BSD, MIT, Apache 2.0, GPL and a
> few
>     > others. At NASA we have the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) as
> the
>     > default license for software we release to the public, and though
> our
>     > official NASA Software Release Policy allows use of other
> mainstream
>     > OSS licenses, NASA very rarely allows such releases. Many times
> the
>     > released software is part of a larger community or larger
> software
>     > project that is already under one or more mainstream licenses.
> If, for
>     > example, NASA develops an Apache Web Server module, it seems to
> make
>     > more sense to release it under the Apache license versus the NOSA
>     > license. Also, because the NOSA license will never be a
> mainstream OSS
>     > license, it deters use and acceptance of our software -- the
> Fedora
>     > project, for example, has banned all NOSA software from being
>     > incorporated or distributed with Fedora releases. What if every
>     > government Agency had its own separate open source license under
> which
>     > it released software that it developed instead of using the
> existing
>     > mainstream licenses?
>     >
>     > What I am specifically asking is for information on:
>     >
>     > 1. Examples of software released by other Federal, State and
> Local
>     > government or the Military that were released under one or more
> of the
>     > mainstream open source licenses. I know the White House recently
>     > released their IT Dashboard software under the GPL, for example.
>     >
>     > 2. Open Source licenses created by any other Agencies, government
>     > organizations that those organizations use to release software.
> What
>     > other agencies have their own open source license in the way that
> NASA
>     > has its NOSA license?
>     >
>     > Pointers to actual license documents, software web sites and
> other
>     > substantiating information is most helpful. You can reply
> directly to
>     > me if you prefer: scott.goodwin@nasa.gov
>     >
>     >
>     > I'm keeping the spreadsheet of software packages identified here,
> so
>     > please check first before sending in a new one:
>     >
>     > https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AlXDdNQEU-
> 8fdDI0OFJEVXRYNGhDNVRrVDhUS19LVVE&hl=en
>     >
>     >
>     > You can find NASA's software release policy here:
>     >
>     > http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/displayDir.cfm?t=NPR&c=2210&s=1C
>     >
>     >
>     > Thanks!
>     >
>     > /s.
>     >
>     > Scott Goodwin
>     > Chief Information Officer
>     > Space Operations Mission Directorate
>     > National Aeronautics and Space Administration
>     > Washington, DC