Subject: Re: Open Source and Government agencies
From: Rich Morin <>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 16:57:32 -0800

That's a peculiar one, for sure.  The typical problem with government
software is that it gets encumbered by contractual clauses and kept
out of the public domain.  Another problem is that it gets in the paws
of COSMIC or other agencies who make their living off of keeping PD SW
hard to acquire (grumble).

But, in this case, the software is currently acknowledged as being PD
and the guy wants to wrap it up in a more restrictive license to "save"
it from folks who would "take it proprietary".  While I understand the
GPLish sentiment, I'm afraid I stand on the other side of this issue.

The law says that government-developed SW is supposed to be PD.  How
can we get folks to honor that rule if we try to make exceptions for
GPLing, etc?  By law, a PD version should be made available.

Of course, once the PD version has been published, there is nothing to
keep folks from hanging either GPL or proprietary labels on copies of
it, then modifying it and distributing it as they please.

Rich Morin:, +1 650-873-7841,
Prime Time Freeware:, +1 408-433-9662,