Subject: Re: Is US Government software public domain and available via FOIA?
From: Scott Goehring <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 18:30:11 -0500

"Braddock" == Braddock Gaskill <Braddock> writes:

Braddock> Is software written under contract or by the US government
Braddock> in the public domain?  Is its source available via the
Braddock> Freedom of Information Act?  Have any attempts been made?

Software written by federal employees itself would be public domain
under the federal work product (FWP) doctrine.  (Actually, it's not
"public domain", but for all practical purposes it's the same thing.)
I don't know if FWP extends to the "loosely affiliated agencies" like
NASA or to individuals serving in the armed forces; ask a lawyer for

Software written by federal contractors is not FWP; copyright will
reside either with the contractor or with the United States
government, on whatever terms are stipulated in the contract.