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

Florian Snow floriansnow at
Wed Mar 23 06:03:34 UTC 2016


I finally got around to reading the draft.  Apart from using unfavorable
terms, I am really excited about this draft in general.  Finally, there
is a commitment that applies to contractors as well, not just to
government works themselves.

However, the draft often says "as much as possible" and "as soon as
possible".  I am a bit afraid that this gives government offices too
much leeway and some will weasel out of their obligations.  There are
some minimum requirements in the right direction, but I think they need
to go further.  Why not say "as much as possible" for everything that is
already developed, but making all software developed in the future 100%
Free Software?  Government contracts are highly attractive, so
publishing those works as Free Software shouldn't be an issue

Also, a list of acceptable licenses might be a good idea.  Maybe they
can just refer to the FSF on that [1][2][3].  It would just be nice if
the government didn't use some obscure license or even use their own
vanity license.  They could also just include a short list with AGPL,
GPL, LGPL, and Apache 2.0.  I can't think of any other licenses anyone
would need for software.

Happy hacking!


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