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Defense Department Issues Open Source Policy

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) last week distributed a memo putting open source software on a level playing field with proprietary software when it comes to use within the department, though the memo also warned that those using open source software (OSS) must comply with “lawful licensing requirements” and be aware of what those licenses entail. The DoD is a user of both open source and proprietary software, ranging from Linux and BSD on the open end, to Unices and Windows on the proprietary end. The memo eases fears that the military might ban use of the GNU General Public License (GPL). Providing a description of open source licenses and licensing requirements, including a specific focus on the GPL, the memo, written by John Stenbit, chief information officer and assistant secretary for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Defense Department, noted, “The Linux operating system is an example of an operating system used in DoD that is licensed under the GPL.” Full Story

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