On Tue, 2004-02-24 at 16:12 -0500, Hubert Chan wrote: > As mentioned in my previous mail, I am creating a package for > hashcash. The source for the package includes a document, > fip180-1.txt, which is a copy of the Federal Information Processing > Standards Publication 180-1 (the definition for SHA-1). I am unable > to > determine whether or not FIPS documents are free, and was wondering if > anyone had any experience with that. Below are the contents of a conversation that took place between me and Elizabeth Lennon, the employee at the National Institute of Standards and Technology that the FIPS page suggested to contact. I have added her to the list of CCs of this email in hopes that she will be able to offer her insight into any further questions that may arise. Ms. Lennon: I hope that this is not a problem for you. Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2004 11:15:27 -0500 To: email@example.com From: Elizabeth Lennon <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Copyright of Federal Information Processing Standards Publications Alexander, you are correct that documents, including FIPS, issued by the U.S. Government are in the public domain and not subject to copyright. There are no restrictions to the distribution of this document, since is has been publicly available worldwide on our website for some years. Liz At 11:02 AM 3/2/2004 -0500, you wrote: >Dear Ms. Lennon: > > I am partially and unofficially affiliated with a > project known as >Debian. (You may access our Web site at ><http://www.debian.org/>.) As >noted on our Web site, we provide a free operating system >for people all >over the globe. All software that is included in the >Debian GNU/Linux >distribution must comply with a set of guidelines, known >as the Debian >Free Software Guidelines, which are available at ><http://www.debian.org/ >social_contract#guidelines>. > > We wish to include a copy of the FIPS 180-1 > document in our >distribution for the benefit of our users and developers. >However, if >FIPS 180-1 is subject to copyright and/or licensing >restrictions, than >we will most likely be unable to include it. As we are >aware, items >released by the United States government fall into the >public domain, i. >e., all of their copyright is relinquished. What we do not >know is if >this FIPS document is in the public domain and what >repercussions the >possible inclusion of this document in our distribution, >which may be >exported outside of the United States, may create. > > What I ask of you and your colleagues is > intellectual property >information relating to FIPS 180-1 and, if at all >possible, other FIPS >documents as well. Thank you very much. > > >Yours truly, > Alexander Winston > > >PS. Please note that I may redirect our correspondence >verbatim to a >public mailing list to which Debian developers and users >have access. If >you or anyone that wishes to reply to this email objects >to this >practice, please state so in any replies. I will be sure >to respect >these wishes.
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