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Government Data Rights


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I've moved to a new organization and discovered they use this standard local clause:

Data Rights : The Government has unlimited rights to all documents/material produced under this contract. All documents and materials, to include the source codes of any software, produced under this contract shall be Government owned and are the property of the Government with all rights and privileges of ownership/copyright belonging exclusively to the Government. These documents and materials may not be used or sold by the contractor without written permission from the Contracting Officer. All materials supplied to the Government shall be the sole property of the Government and may not be used for any other purpose. This right does not abrogate any other Government rights.

I've tried to figure out an approach to explain why this clause is not only in conflict with DFARS 252.227-7013 and 7014, but confuses ownership/title with data rights. Also the implied defintion of "unlimited rights" in this clause also conflicts with the defintion in the DFARs.

I've used Government Title to Property when dealing with vesting title (ownership).

So not to insult the KOs or the attorney, I would appreciate suggestions on how to alter this local clause (or delete it in its entirety).

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  • 5 months later...

You are correct the government does not take ownership in data in most circumstances. The first sentence has some advantages because it negates the inchoate argument raised by some government contractors. I would reference software in the first sentence and delete the rest of the clause unless there is a pressing need for the government to take total ownership.

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