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The TTO office provides some general guidance on the release of software on their FAQ page.  For instance:

Q19: I have a software program that I want to post on the Internet so that other users may download it for "not-for-profit" uses for free. Is this allowed?

A: Yes. However, TTO has a "click-wrap simple permission statement" that you should post on or before the first page of your downloadable program.


Q21: Does the university allow the open-source release of software?

A: It is not UC San Diego's preferred practice. This is because of the "viral" or "infectious" nature that requires all downstream work to be released in the same manner. However, UC San Diego does allow open-source release when the following conditions are met:

  • All involved developers and authors consent to the request in writing.
  • There are no conflicting sponsor obligations (e.g. DFAR).
  • All developers and authors agree in writing that they will not pursue personal financial benefits from activities related to the use of the open-source released software (this is to comply with conflict-of-interest regulations).

In addition, it should be noted that it is difficult to monitor and enforce the contractual obligations under open-source release.

There are several types of licenses available for open-source software release. UC San Diego will, to the extent possible, use the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license because it does not have the restrictive, evolving nature that is inherent in GPL licenses. The latest proposed version of the GPL also conflicts with UC policies governing patents and copyrights.