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Fara Fasat

new category of software rights

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Thought this might bring a smile to some faces, or maybe cause some to weep in despair.

Contractor submits with its proposal a list of software that qualifies as restricted computer software, in accordance with 52.227-15. Government sends back a question, stating that it needs "unlimited government purpose rights" in the software, and asks contractor to clarify its offer.

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9 hours ago, Fara Fasat said:

"unlimited government purpose rights"

 

Step one ask the agency to provide a definition of the term.

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Guest Vern Edwards

@Fara Fasat

10 hours ago, Fara Fasat said:

Thought this might bring a smile to some faces, or maybe cause some to weep in despair.

Contractor submits with its proposal a list of software that qualifies as restricted computer software, in accordance with 52.227-15. Government sends back a question, stating that it needs "unlimited government purpose rights" in the software, and asks contractor to clarify its offer.

I think you should explain to us why we should smile or weep. See DFARS 227.7203-5, Government rights. Note the bolded text.

Quote

The standard license rights in computer software that a licensor grants to the Government are unlimited rights, government purposerights, or restricted rights. The standard license in computer software documentation conveys unlimited rights. Those rights are defined in the clause at 252.227–7014, Rights in Noncommercial Computer Software and Noncommercial Computer Software Documentation. In unusual situations, the standard rights may not satisfy the Government's needs or the Government may be willing to accept lesser rights in return for other consideration. In those cases, a special license may be negotiated. However, the licensor is not obligated to provide the Government greater rights and the contracting officer is not required to accept lesser rights than the rights provided in the standard grant of license. The situations under which a particular grant of license applies are enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this subsection.

(a) Unlimited rights. The Government obtains an unlimited rights license in—

(1) Computer software developed exclusively with Government funds;

(2) Computer software documentation required to be delivered under a Government contract;

(3) Corrections or changes to computer software or computer software documentation furnished to the contractor by the Government;

(4) Computer software or computer software documentation that is otherwise publicly available or has been released or disclosed by the contractor or subcontractor without restrictions on further use, release or disclosure other than a release or disclosure resulting from the sale, transfer, or other assignment of interest in the software to another party or the sale or transfer of some or all of a business entity or its assets to another party;

(5) Computer software or computer software documentation obtained with unlimited rights under another Government contract or as a result of negotiations; or

(6) Computer software or computer software documentation furnished to the Government, under a Government contract or subcontract with—

(i) Restricted rights in computer software, limited rights in technical data, or government purpose license rights and the restrictive conditions have expired; or

(ii) Government purpose rights and the contractor's exclusive right to use such software or documentation for commercial purposes has expired.

 

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Fara Fasat - I get your concern and you probably already know that it is the agency that you are dealing with that will provide  what they mean by "unlimited government purpose rights" since they have titled a need with  mixed wording where the wording defines two different kinds of rights. 

Yes a provision may exist that allows the government to turn to a special license (right) that does not meet the standard but like you by my read they have used mixed wording to create a right that would appear already fits unlimited rights.    If terminology as used is an indication that the standard rights of unlimited and government purpose are standard rights that may not satisfy the Government's needs or that the Government may be willing to accept lesser rights in return for other consideration what does the Government want to negotiate with regard to restricted rights that you have listed regardless of what they call them?  That is the bigger question but I am guessing you all ready know that

Regardless count me on the weep of despair side.

An “unlimited rights” license means that the Government can use, modify, reproduce, release or disclose technical data or computer software in whole or in part, in any manner, and for any purpose whatsoever, and to have or authorize others to do so.

A “Government Purpose rights” license means the rights to use, modify, reproduce, release or disclose the technical data or computer software within the Government without restriction and outside the Government for a Government purpose – “any activity in which the United States Government is a party, including cooperative agreements with international or multi-national defense organizations or sales or transfers by the United States Government to foreign governments or international organizations. Government purposes include competitive procurement, but do not include use for commercial purposes.”

Reference - https://disa.mil/About/Legal-and-Regulatory/DataRights-IP/DataRights

 

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Vern -- not DoD. That's why 52.227-15 is in the RFP, not 252.227-7014. I thought the reference to 52.227-15 was sufficient. Besides, do you really read the government's question as a request to negotiate something other than the standard license rights? If so, then what is it that the contractor needs to clarify? It's the government that wants something different. 

Carl read it right. "Unlimited" and "government purpose" are two very different terms, and even if this were a DoD contract, the CO combined them in a way that makes no sense. For a non-DoD contract, there is no 'government purpose' category. 

And yes, we're already asking the government to clarify what it wants. Just thought people might get a chuckle out of the government mash-up. 

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Guest Vern Edwards

Thanks for the explanation. I admit missing the citation of 52.227-15. But until you get the government's explanation, I think it's too early for laughs or tears.

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We're talking to them today. My guess is that they want the right to fully use the software on the computers it is installed on at their site, and they don't understand that restricted rights gives them that. Hence the mash-up of 'unlimited' and 'government purpose.' 

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