Subject: Re: FW: [Ossi] DISA to open source administrative software
From: wtfpl user <wtfpl.user@googlemail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 23:39:03 +0100

 Tue, 17 Mar 2009 23:39:03 +0100
2009/3/17 Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>:
> DISA to open source administrative software
> Other agencies free to use, modify human resource management software
>
> The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) plans to open source a suite
> of programs that it developed for administrative tasks. The agency has
> signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Open Source
> Software Institute (OSSI) to help release the source code of the programs.
>
> The set of 50 programs, collectively called the Corporate Management
> Information System (CMIS), handles duties such as human resource management,
> training, security, acquisition and related functions. All the programs were
> developed by internally by DISA, and are used by more that 16,000 users
> worldwide.
>
> “Numerous other government agencies have asked if we'd allow them to adopt
> CMIS for their internal use," Jack Penkoske, DISA's director of manpower,
> security and personnel, said in a statement. "We believe this will be a
> win-win for all involved.”
>
> By allowing third-party developers to view, modify, and reuse the software
> source code, DISA is hoping that others will improve the code when they
> modify it for their own purposes.
>
> DISA will license the software under version 3 of the Open Software License
> as well as version 3 of the Academic Free License, according to John
> Weathersby, OSSI's executive director.

Note, too, that any enhancements to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS)
by DISA employees (but not DISA contractors) would be in the public
domain because of 17 USC 105.  So it can be used by anybody without
regard to the OSL/AFL (any version) because it is in the public
domain.

In the 108th Congress, there was an effort (H.R. 2613) to extend that
to works produced under government contracts. "Copyright protection
under this title is not available for any work produced pursuant to
scientific research substantially funded by the Federal Government
..." The idea behind the legislation was to make medical research
reports more generally available.

It is interesting to ponder what that might do to FOSS written in
universities under federal grants and contracts.  But to the best of
my knowledge, there was no recognition of that problem by any of the
FOSS people.