Carnegie Mellon University
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Data Rights for Proprietary Software Used in DoD Programs

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posted on 2010-04-01, 00:00 authored by Julie Cohen, Bonnie Troup, Henry Ouyang
The Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly acquiring complex systems that use commercial software to meet many of the systems' functional requirements. If the commercial software is a truly commercial product and will not be modified (for example, a commercial antivirus program), then for most systems, data rights do not become an issue. However, when the commercial software is based on proprietary software that is not available as a standard commercial product or will be modified such that the end product is no longer commercially available or is different from the standard commercial product (for example, a adding program specific capabilities to a database program), the DoD must consider what data rights are necessary. This paper * examines how data rights issues were addressed in the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) program * reviews additional concerns posed by the use of commercial software in the TSAT program's Space Segment, including safety and mission assurance, and how those concerns were addressed * reviews, in less detail, data rights concerns for software incorporated in the Global Positioning System program, and how those concerns were addressed




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