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[Discuss] Govt Source Code Policy

I opened this discussion by proposing that not only should the US
Government "open source" it's work, but that the BEST choice for licensing
that work in a way that ensures public benefit is to use the principles of
copyleft as enshrined in the GPL v3 license.  It's a legal technique to
enforce a greater morality. It's a way "that this nation shall have a new
birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for
the people, shall not perish from the earth." These words were not only
repeated by Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, but it's a concept that goes
back to at least 1384 (as a prologue to the English translation of the
Bible).  There are obstacles; and it would be a radical transformation, but
doable and worth the price.  This transformation could affect every other
sector of life, providing a whole new landscape for the future.

It's WRONG that elections are not held on verifiable free software
platforms.  And it's sad that the Open Source Initiative, who has been
working on this for nearly a decade via OSET, had to create a new
watered-down copyleft license based on the MPL so that it could meet the
needs of their 200 or so stakeholders [1] [2].  Still you could argue that
they're trying to do the right thing: They make it clear that they wanted
to choose the GPL.  If the US Government doesn't use the GPL, the next best
choice for government work might be the OSETPL  Why isn't this widely
implemented yet?  Perhaps it's because the commercial implementors have no

It's WRONG that the US taxpayer spends about $82 billion a year
collectively supporting private contractors for things like 'Census taking
software' (old crusty stuff that only runs on Windows) which even when
'public domain' [3] is not available as 'complete and corresponding source

The GPL license stands up for the little guy.  In a world of 1% "haves" and
99% "have nots", copyleft is one of the few mechanisms available to try and
correct course.  We have one planet with nearly 7.5 billion people on it.
I believe the GPL works to provide a future for the next 40 years when we
reach 10 billion [4] people alive (and hopefully cooperating). The way
copyright, trade deals, and patents work today, I don't think humanity will
have another 7 centuries before we perish.

What's ironic is how educational institutions such as MIT and Harvard, with
a stated mission of education, have subverted their own mission by doing
everything possible to maximize their profitability by making the fruits of
their research proprietary.  They've done so with the help of government
funding.  They've done so with the help of advantageous tax policy. They've
done so with "open source" licenses that they and their graduates can
leverage better than the 99%.

What's also ironic is that so many people continue with 'business as usual'
even in the face of "Panama Papers" and WikiLeaks that show just how
corrupt the status quo is. Maybe we're on the verge of a resurgence in the
GPL.  Maybe software patents will be abolished. Maybe copyright will be
replaced by inalienable 'sharing rights'.  It's interesting that the Pirate
Party is the most popular party in Iceland right now -- and that's before
the Panama Papers.

[1] OSET Public License
[2] Rationale
[3] Most Gov't software is not public domain like it's supposed to be.
We've utterly failed to conduct our government in the fashion it was
supposed to be done. In less than 3 centuries.

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