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Linux Journal: Linux in Government: An Interview with John Weathersby of OSSI

Jul 12, 2004, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Adelstein)

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"On July 1, 2004, the Executive Office of the President of the United States issued a memorandum for Senior Procurement Executives and Chief Information Officers. The memorandum emphasizes the President's previous memorandum titled 'Maximizing Use of SmartBuy and Avoiding Duplication of Agency Activities.' In this latest memorandum, OMB 04-16, the President issued the following ground-breaking statements:

"This reminder applies to acquisitions of all software, whether it is proprietary or Open Source Software. Open Source Software's source code is widely available so it may be used, copied, modified, and redistributed. It is licensed with certain common restrictions, which generally differ from proprietary software. Frequently, the licenses require users who distribute Open Source Software, whether in its original form or as modified, to make the source code widely available. Subsequent licenses usually include the terms of the original license, thereby requiring wide availability. These differences in licensing may affect the use, the security, and the total cost of ownership of the software and must be considered when an agency is planning a software acquisition.

"As I read this memorandum, I quickly thought of someone who has worked behind the scenes in the federal arena to promote open-source software..."

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