Share Fixes, NASA Asks - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Enterprise Applications

Share Fixes, NASA Asks

Open-source agreement, if approved, would require developers to reveal code modifications

In a bid to make greater use of the open-source community, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has submitted an open-source licensing agreement to the Open Source Initiative. If approved, the NASA Open Source Agreement will require developers using NASA code to share modifications with NASA and the open-source community.

In return, an indemnity provision protects software developers from any liability arising from use or distribution of NASA's software. Indemnification has increasingly become an issue as SCO Group files lawsuits against Linux vendors and users. NASA revealed last week that it received a letter from SCO Group in December in which the company claimed that Linux contains improperly contributed Unix source code. The letter didn't request any action from NASA, says Gary Borda, a senior patent attorney in NASA's Office of the General Counsel. The Energy Department and other agencies received similar letters.

Government agencies can't use the General Public License to protect shared code, because works that public-sector employees produce can't be copyrighted.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Flash Poll