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Net.Noise owner news at
Wed Mar 3 13:18:25 EST 1993

Newsgroups: info.grass.programmer
From: westerve at (Jim Westervelt)
Subject: Where your code goes
Message-ID: <C3Bs6n.Dyz at>
Summary: Take time to find out where your code goes.
Keywords: grass programmer copyright
Sender: news at (Net.Noise owner)
Organization: US Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Labs
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1993 18:18:22 GMT
Lines: 47

Programmers!  Take time at the user conference to participate in a dialog
concerning what happens to your contributed code.

We at CERL have worked hard to encourage a broad programmer community to
contribute code that you develop back into the public-domain.  The response
from you-all has been wonderful - and very trusting.

GRASS is now evolving into a new beast which most of us have not experienced.
There are several organizations which share ownership of GRASS.  Each maintains
relationships with the others; each responds to different funding opportunities
and user communities.   How these organizations interrelate will directly
impact the policies applied to the distribution, support, commercialization, 
and respect for software that you and your organization contribute.

Quick review of organizations:
  CERL - original site of GRASS R&D
  GIACC - Inter-government organization which coordinates GRASS R&D between
         different government development sites
  OGI - Located at CERL.  Funded by GIACC government members.  MOU (Memoranda
         of Understanding now in place provides a 5-year funding mechanism.)
         Responsible for fundamental GRASS R&D and integration of contributions
         which result in new GIACC/OGI sanctioned releases.
  OGF - Located at Boston U.  GIACC/CERL have turned over the operation of
         1) document sales, 2) user conference, and 3) newsletter.   OGF
         is also a focus for commercial interests in GRASS

Sample rhetorical questions open for the programmer community to discuss -

  Who are your contributed programs intended for?  What should they pay?  What
  recognition should they return?

  What protection should be attached to the software?  Copyrights?  Patents?
  (I have seen a color table patented.)

  Commercial entities, of course, can use the software pretty much as they see
  fit, but...  What rights do you want protected in the process?  Can code be
  removed?  Improved?  Replaced? 

  The government can enter into Coopertive Research and Development Agreements
  with commercial entities.  These allow profits to feed back into the
  government and into the hands of the original developers.  GRASS contains
  code from about 25 different organizations.  Can any single government entity
  enter into a CRDA with GRASS?  Can GIACC?
Jim Westervelt   GRASS Design and Development 
Construction Engineering Research Laboratories
westerve at

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