Instead, much of this software is allowed to become the property of defense companies, resulting in DoD repeatedly funding the same solutions or, worse, repaying to use previously created software.
The lack of a coherent set of policies and regulations for the DoD’s intellectual property has eroded the U.S. military competitive advantage, leading to compromised missions and lost lives. Improvised explosive device countermeasure systems can’t be upgraded rapidly without replacing entire systems; personnel position systems can’t update in real time; billions are wasted on software radios that don’t interoperate.
The byzantine rules governing the military’s intellectual property portfolio use an antiquated rights structure where the contractor always retains copyright, and therefore effective monopoly, control over taxpayer-funded software ideas. By contrast, commercial industry ruthlessly exercises control over its own software ideas.