Director Database Marketing (Herndon VA US) (

Date: Thu, 3 Sep 1998 09:17:20 -0700
From: owen@DeLong.SJ.CA.US (Owen DeLong)
Subject: Re: Director Database Marketing (Herndon VA US) (
Under both common law and various federal regulations, NSI has posession
of that data because of a federal contract supported and (previously)
paid for by taxpayers. As such, at least that much of the data is, by
law, in the public domain. ...

Thank you for summarizing one of the great myths about Federal contracting.

Your statement is, in general, false.

Intellectual property developed under federal contracts is, in general,
_not_ public domain. In general, the intellectual property developed under
federal contracts is owned by the contractor, although the government
has broad rights to the data.

See for example:

o NSF General Grant Conditions (GC-1)

  Including sections:

  17. Information Collection
  18. Copyrightable Material
  21. Patent Rights

o NSF Grant Policy Manual (95-26)

  Including sections:

  730 Intellectual Property
       731 Patent and Inventions
            731.1 Background
            731.2 National Science Foundation Patent Policy
            731.3 Standard Patent Rights Clause
       732 Copyright
            732.1 Rights to Copyrightable Material
            732.2 Standard Copyrightable Material Clause
       733 Special Patent and Copyright Situations
            733.1 Special Grant Provisions
            733.2 Grants Not Primarily for Research
            733.3 Grants Affected by International Agreements
       734 Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results
       735 Tangible Property
            735.1 Background
            735.2 Legal Rights to Tangible Property

o Federal Acquisition Regulations

  Part 27 - Patents, Data, and Copyrights

The first sentence of the following quote from the FARs may help
explain the motivation for this approach.

27.404 Basic Rights in Data Clause.

(f) Copyrighted Data.--(1) Data First Produced in the Performance of a

(i) In order to enhance the transfer or dissemination of information produced
at Government expense, contractors are normally authorized, without prior
approval of the contracting officer, to establish claim to copyright
subsisting in technical or scientific articles based on or containing
data first produced in the performance of work under a contract containing
the clause at 52.227-14, Rights in Data--General and published in
academic, technical or professional journals, symposia proceedings and
similar works. ...