Subject: Re: GNU and classified software
From: Frank Hecker <>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 19:45:57 -0400 wrote:
> The contractor using GCC is not a problem -- this is a work for hire,
> and the return of the modified code to the government is not a
> distribution of the code.
> The government turning around and giving copies to further contractors,
> however, clearly violates GCC. At the moment of transfer the code passes
> from one legal entity to another,

(Sorry, I forgot to add this point in my last message:) But if the
contractor is working under contract to the government, and the transfer
of the software is in relation to work performed under that contract,
would this transfer actually be considered an act of distribution under
the license? I'm not qualified to answer this one way or the other.
However as you probably know, it is very common for cleared contractor
personnel to work on-site in US government classified facilities,
working side-by-side with US goverment employees and freely sharing
software and other data.

Again, it seems as if this same issue would arise in the commercial
world with temporary contract employees and other contractors working
onsite. This is especially true given that many firms have completely
outsourced their IS functions to third parties, to the extent of having
all their IS employees leave the company and become employees of the
outsourcing provider, but still continue to work in the same office at
the same job.

Frank Hecker            work:        home: