What is Non-Copyright?

AJ ONeal coolaj86 at gmail.com
Thu May 17 17:36:28 MDT 2012


Ah, here it is:
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/license.shtml

I don't know why I didn't notice that before.

Looks like saying "some of this code is based on code which can be obtained
on [link] site under [link] license" is enough.

AJ ONeal

On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM, Charles Curley <
charlescurley at charlescurley.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 17 May 2012 12:16:30 -0600
> AJ ONeal <coolaj86 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> > > It contains no license and was found publicly available on some site
> > > > of an organization of the federal government (noa.gov).
> > >
> > > I get no "noa.gov" on the web or in whois, so I suspect that is a
> > > typo for "noaa.gov", which is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
> > > Administration, or "noah" for short.
> > >
> >
> > Yup.
> > http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/DoDWMM.shtml
> > (you can skip the registration if you scroll to the bottom after
> > clicking download)
>
> Thank you.
>
>
> >
> >
> > >
> > > > Under U.S. law, source code which is written by employees of the
> > > > federal government is non-copyright (see wikipedia).
> > >
> > > Citation?
> > >
> >
> >
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_status_of_work_by_the_U.S._government
> > http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/105
>
> Thank you, that is most useful.
>
> Note that code written by contractors may be exempt. I say "may be"
> because it depends on the terms between the government agency and the
> contractor. For example I wrote that memory test code as a contractor
> on a work for hire basis, so it belongs entirely to NASA and would have
> been eligible for release.
>
>
> >
> > >  > I'm pretty sure that the government intended it to be used by
> > > > companies like us to improve upon and sell it back to them bundled
> > > > with our product so I don't see an issue or need to get in touch
> > > > with our lawyer about it.
> > >
> > > You may be correct. NASA has a program for commercializing NASA
> > > technology, which is where its monthly Tech Briefs publication comes
> > > from. Need a *thorough* 6502 assembly language memory test?
> > >
> > > However, I would scrounge around the NOAA web site and see if there
> > > is an explicit grant of use on the site. If so, I'd document where
> > > I got the code, and include the text and source URL of the grant of
> > > use.
>
> Given that source in Fortran and C is readily available, etc., I'd say
> that your suspicion is very likely true.
>
>
>
>
> >
> > Meh. If it were Oracle I'd prefer to be surer than sure. In fact, I'd
> > prefer not to use it. It's the government. The people in the
> > government I've worked with are just as frustrated and confused as
> > the rest of us (and perhaps morso).
> >
> >
> http://www.i-programmer.info/news/193-android/4224-oracle-v-google-judge-is-a-programmer.html
> >
> > There's only so many ways to write a rangeCheck function anyway.
>
> This is true. As I understand things, you can copyright code, but not
> algorithms. So I can write a program to calculate the date of Easter
> and copyright that. But the algorithm was developed by the Roman
> Catholic Church in the 4th or 5th century, and later adjusted for the
> Julian calendar. So I couldn't copyright the algorithm.
>
> (Where is the dividing line between code and algorithm? I'm glad you
> asked that question. Let me know when you find an answer.)
>
> >
> > What I mean is that no matter who you are you're going to use the same
> > algorithm. You function names might be different and you might
> > multiply before you device, but you end up with code that does the
> > same thing. How many ways are there to copy a trigonometric function?
>
> And one person might write a more efficient version than another. Or
> other variations. And that can be protected.
>
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Would you care to make the code available? I expect others could use
> > > it.
> > >
> >
> > http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/DoDWMM.shtml (same link as above)
> >
> > There's a decent chance that we'll release our code as well.
> > We give away a lot of code so that our customers can more easily use
> > our products.
> >
> > We also give away a lot of code that starts out as one project and
> > ends up a fringe product that is outside the scope of our work --
> > like dropsha.re
>
> Cool!
>
> >
> > AJ ONeal
> >
> > /*
> > PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
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>
>
>
> --
>
> Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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