•   over 2 years ago

Dropping out of contest. Warning to other contestants about source code .

Hello SAMSHA and my fellow contestants. I just read the contest rules in detail and their is a troubling conflict in the rules. Consider these two contradictory clauses:

A) 6. SUBMISSION RIGHTS
A. Any applicable intellectual property rights to a Submission will remain with the Contestant.

B) E. General Requirements - (v) Prizewinners may be required to submit the source code and any relevant data of their Application to the Administrator and/or Sponsor upon request at any time.

For open source projects B is not a problem. However for closed source projects that contain important code proprietary to the contestant or to the contestant's company, B is unacceptable. I say that A and B are contradictory because you can't maintain your intellectual property rights to a closed source app if you have to make the source available, even if that contingency is just a possibility.

Also, the following original work clause is problematic because it does not recognize the fact that most apps today, especially web apps, use 3rd party libraries both open source and commercial ("solely owned by the Contestant"):

"ix) Submissions must: (a) be the original work product of the Contestant; (b) be solely owned by Contestant and with no other person or entity having any right or interest in it; and (c) not violate the Intellectual Property rights or other rights including but not limited to copyright, trademark, patent, contract, and/or privacy rights, of any other person or entity. A Contestant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the Submission provided the Submission components are solely the Contestant’s work product and the result of the Contestant’s ideas and creativity, and the Contestant owns all rights to them. "

It's too bad because this impetus for the contest is a noble one, but for developers that must maintain their intellectual property it is not possible to participate.

Good luck to my fellow developers in the contest that remain.

  • 4 comments

  •   •   over 2 years ago

    i second the objection to release source code. please consider a revision.

  • Moderator   •   over 2 years ago

    Hi Robert and Tom,

    We want to clarify a couple of things you mention in your discussion post.
    Regarding General Requirements Section 6 (E): submission of the source code is for the purpose of a technical review only. The source code will not be distributed.

    Regarding your comment on the original work clause and using open source for IP: Third party libraries are allowed within their terms and conditions. This text is specifying that if any third party solutions are used, for example PHP, MySQL, JavaScript libraries, etc., the contestant asserts that they have permission and/or are not violating the third party’s terms.

    Thank you for your interest in SAMHSA’s Opioid Recovery App Challenge.
    The Challenge Team

  •   •   over 2 years ago

    "(v) Prizewinners may be required to submit the source code and any relevant data of their Application to the Administrator and/or Sponsor upon request at any time."

    I'm not sure why a technical review is deemed necessary here. I don't believe this is included in any of the challenges I've done. The product and its functionalities should be enough for any verification purposes. I'm just not comfortable with submitting source code (unless for paid client work) due to trade secrets and security issues.

    I agree with Robert that this should be discussed with all the contestants.

  • Moderator   •   over 2 years ago

    Hi Robert and Tom,

    Thanks for your interest in SAMHSA’s Opioid Recovery App Challenge.

    Regarding your concern about submitting source code to the Challenge sponsor, as part of routine federal procurement, intellectual property of all sorts is disclosed to, and held confidential by the agency involved. In the event of any issues with the winning apps, the sponsor reserves the right to ask for and review the source code. We are not asking Developers to submit the code up front.

    Thank you,
    The Challenge Team

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