Re: PD TCP/IP requests

Charles Hedrick (
Wed, 22 Jul 87 13:55:19 EDT

With Universities at least, ownership of code funded by the government
depends upon the provisions of the grant. If the grant was a contract
that specified production of software as a deliverable, then it is
work for hire, and the code is owned by the government, or required to
be PD, or something like that. However if the grant called for
research, and the code was in effect a sideeffect of the research,
then all agencies that I know interpret that the code was not the
thing that they were contracting for, and the University owns it. Few
universities these days are willing to admit that any code the produce
was the intended product of their work, so although the government
pays for much of the code produced by our universities, the tendency
is for very little of it to be regarded as covered by the provisions
requiring government-funded code to be public. Some agencies consider
this a good thing, because they'd rather see the universities have
enough ownership of the code to be able to sell it to a software house
for futher development and eventual marketing. This is viewed as
"technology transfer", and gets them brownie points. Agencies
apparently do not view PD software as accomplishing much. I disapprove
of this trend, and view all of my work as PD, but I seem to be fighting
a losing battle.

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