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[Discuss] Govt Source Code Policy

Rich Pieri <richard.pieri at> writes:

> On 4/7/2016 11:23 AM, Mike Small wrote:
>> I haven't understood the thread, not seeing how it is that the U.S.
>> government now can hold copyright on its works and thus it be
>> possible for them to use the GPL.
> Because it's not about the government per se. It's about software funded
> by government money. For example, MIT LNS is funded by Department of
> Energy grants but programs written by scientists here are not owned by
> the DoE; they are owned by the scientists who write them.

Ah, then I agree with you that that seems like overreach unless and
until someone demonstrates rms's arguments are good enough to inform
general law. Failing that I'd think it would be better to have laws that
help scientists, or whoever, to use licenses like the GPL if they would
like to when their employers aren't agreeable to the idea. Or perhaps a
more general law making individual copyright less alienable. I wonder
how it would work if the standard employment agreement instead of
assigning copyright (in some cases even to work done off premises
unrelated to the day job) suggested a license under whose terms I agree
to release code. Then again, if I keep participating in these threads
fair use would probably be sufficient to take what little I manage to

Mike Small
smallm at

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