US government draft to publish publicly financed software under Free Software licenses

Matthias Kirschner mk at
Wed Mar 16 13:41:04 UTC 2016

At the end of last week, the White House published a draft for a Source
Code Policy <>. The
policy requires every public agency to publish their custom-build
software as Free Software for other public agencies as well as the
general public to use, study, share and improve the software. As we want
to push for similar policies in the EU, I would be very interested in
your feedback. 

The Source Code Policy is intended for efficient use of US taxpayers'
money and reuse of existing custom-made software across the public
sector. It is said to reduce vendor lock-in of the public sector, and
decrease duplicate costs for the same code which in return will increase
transparency of public agencies.  The custom-build software will also be
published to the general public either as public domain, or as Free
Software so others can improve and reuse the software.

The policy in general does not require that already existing
custom—developed software be retroactively made available as Free
Software if it was developed by third party developers (though it is
strongly encouraged to the extent permissible under existing contracts).
However, it is encouraged to be retroactively applicable for the
existing custom-build software developed by agency employees in the
course of their official duties.

As a result, the draft predicts that the policy will contribute to
economic growth and innovation, as the public will be able to use and
improve the software which was funded with public money.

Until 11 April 2016 the public can comment the draft
<>. So please sent us any comments asap.

Matthias Kirschner - President - Free Software Foundation Europe
Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany | t +49-30-27595290
Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030  | (
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