This is a good discussion, yet your references are seeing only the point of view of the funded scientist. Where you see opportunity, I see obstacles. And do note that I do publish code under open source licenses. However, there are limits.
When there is funding available things go well, and software can be supported. When funding stops things become different. The ideal you describe where there are ways to maintain open source software is incorrect in many real cases. Many useful open source software project suffer from lack of funding.
One reason governments fund research is not necessarily to support international research. Governments fund research since it opens opportunities for businesses in the long run. In fact, here is a U.S. bill that support increased access to government funded research. There are more examples of initiative in these directions you can find in an NIH plan for data science that repeats the word “open” over a dozen times, and in a previous US administration policy. However, when you read the U.S. bill you will find out that there are points that also protect national security and patent rights. So the legislator understands that there are limits to openness.
This is what I do not see in the original call for transparency. This is why I started this discussion. The idealism in the call for transparency needs further exploration to get in touch with reality.
You quoted an article on open source you co-authored. This article is indeed a nice review, yet it takes a one sided approach that denies incentives of innovation unless one has funding and works in a specific research environment. For example, the article seems to promote copy-left licenses as protection against future innovation. Actually, copy-left licenses limit the use of code in the long run. In fact, there is actual decline in use of GPL as seen here with good reasoning - it becomes restrictive and unless constantly funded, one will probably choose to change the license to a more permissive license. By the way, the argument you co-authored article in section 2.7 that “copyleft protects the author from criticisms of closed modifications to their work” are better accomplished by other licenses such as BSD 3 Clause. Yet even better, when research is government funded, why not use CC0 which does not pose any limits other than those imposed by law?
You argument that public domain “fulfills 2&3 above but not 1.” needs explanation. Public domain code fulfills all your points and is superior to other open source licenses that become restrictive after a while. In contrast to other licenses, it allows innovation by others after code has been released and even abandoned.
Also, the use of the term “standard” is not correct with regard to open source. There are so many open source licenses a person can choose from or make up, that there is nothing standard about open source. Also, there is no Standards Development Organization (SDO) that handles open source as far as I know - please correct me if I am wrong, yet OSI and FSF are not SDOs - they are nice non profit organizations promoting open source.
However, to move the discussion forward, allow me to suggest a resolution. Would it be prudent that government funding bodies will nominate a committee that at the end of a funding cycle will decide:
- If software has restrictions on becoming open source, in which case decide on restrictions and license.
- If no restrictions found release it to public domain in a government web site and this will count as a publication to authors - this will mean that that government wants to give this software as a gift to the world.
However, such solutions may require legislation since a group of scientists publishing a paper probably cannot create incentives or protect against misuse.
However, since my idea may be an unattainable ideal, I will be happy to learn of other solutions the authors of the paper can offer.