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NASA Open Source Agreement
NASA logo.svg
NASA logo
Author NASA
Version 1.3
Publisher NASA
Published ?
DFSG compatible No[1]
Free software No[2]
OSI approved Yes
GPL compatible No[2]
Copyleft No
Linking from code with a different license Yes?

The NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) is an OSI-approved software license. The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) releases some software (such as NASA World Wind) under this license. The NOSA allows NASA to increase software quality and accelerate development by involving a broader community in code review and contribution. It is also hoped that open sourced NASA software will maximize awareness and impact of NASA research, particularly in support of NASA's education mission.[3]

Publication of open source software fits in with Agency functions outlined under the National Aeronautics and Space Act, that is, to "provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof."[4]

The NASA Open Source Agreement was accepted as an open source license. The Free Software Foundation raises issue with the following clause:

G. Each Contributor represents that its Modification is believed to be Contributor's original creation and does not violate any existing agreements, regulations, statutes or rules, and further that Contributor has sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this Agreement.

The FSF believes that “[f]ree software development depends on combining code from third parties”, and because of this requirement that changes be your “original creation” the license is not a free software licence.[2]

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