A Decision Framework for Selecting Licensing Rights for Noncommercial Computer Software in the DoD Environment
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A major acquisition challenge for a program where computer software is a critical element of the system is the upfront determination of an appropriate licensing rights strategy. This report describes standard noncommercial software licensing alternatives as defined by U.S. government and Department of Defense (DoD) regulations. It also suggests an approach for objectively identifying agency needs for license rights and the appropriate license type for systems with noncommercial computer software or as standalone software in the DoD environment. There are three standard license types for noncommercial computer software: Unlimited, Government Purpose, and Restricted. Each of these license types for noncommercial computer software conveys different rights to the agency. This report presents distinguishing characteristics of the three standard license types, a method to develop the supporting rationale or traceability for DoD agency needs, a high-level description of circumstances that fall outside of standard license types, and a discussion of the importance of deliverables as necessary components for implementing license rights.