Legal Liabilities Involved With Open Source Development

3561 words - 14 pages

INTRODUCTIONRecently, there has been considerable debate on open source and free software licenses. Although open source licenses appear to be a good solution in many cases, there are still many legal risks which should be taken into account. Companies which use open source licenses as their licensing strategy may not be aware of all the legal problems regarding those licenses. For instance, it is often argued that the General Public License (GPL) has a viral effect, because every modification to the original source code must be under the GPL. Thus, one can easily infringe the GPL by using software components which are licensed under the terms of the GPL as a part of proprietary software.This paper seeks to analyze the main legal risks concerning open source and free software licenses. It is submitted that one should carefully consider different alternatives when choosing an open source license for the software. It is important that the licensee understands the advantages and disadvantages of each open source license. This paper also covers some general issues related to copyright law and the open source approach.COPYRIGHT APPROACH VS OPEN SOURCE MODELThe conceptual framework of copyright is based on the assumption that copyright provides incentives to exploit works commercially. In other words, one of the main goals of copyright legislation is to promote useful developments in society. Therefore, the copyright consists of many exclusive rights, such as the right to manufacture and distribute works. For the software user this means that copyright imposes many restrictions on the use of computer programs.It is widely accepted that computer programs are protected by copyright. More precisely, they enjoy protection as literary works. Therefore copyright law is applied to software licenses, because it is a question of licensing literary works. However, the question of the appropriateness of copyright protection for software remains highly controversial.Open Source Software is software in source-code form that is often created and maintained by a collaborative, virtual community on the Internet and is usually downloadable for free over the Internet or available on CD-ROM at nominal cost. OSS has several important features that distinguish it from other kinds of software:You cannot be prohibited from redistributing OSSYou cannot be prohibited from distributing modifications to OSSNo royalties can be imposed on you for using OSSIt is important to understand that OSS is not Public Domain Software (a frequent misconception).Public Domain: author gives up copyright; no restrictions on how the source code can be usedOpen Source: author retains copyright to source code; allows author to distribute the code under a license that defines what you may (and may not) do with itThe OSS community has a very precise definition of "open source." That definition is embodied in the various OSS licenses in use today.As mentioned above, the open source approach differs...

Find Another Essay On Legal Liabilities Involved with Open Source Development

The Partnership Act 1985 Essay

941 words - 4 pages This question associated with law of partnership, covered by the Partnership Act 1985 (WA), which is particularly applied to internal liabilities and cessation of partnership as well. Although a broad variety of characters of liabilities owned by partners, those specific characters related to the case. In the term of PA s7 states “Partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of

Merger & Acquisitions Essay

2761 words - 11 pages amortisation for the past three yearsA comprehensive list of all noncurrent assets including details of purchase, sale, lease and exchange of such assetsA report of various business locations of the company throughout the world with details of ownership, lease and rental agreementsList of all intangible assets owned by the company with details of internal development, purchase and amortisation of such assetsEvaluation of fixed, variable, direct and

Open Source Software

1483 words - 6 pages behind open source software is that a program can be released to the public and its source code must be readily available to users for modifications of the code. This benefits the users because over time, programs can be changed to fix bugs and ultimately evolve the original version into a better end-product. Many of the developers are unpaid, but this promotes better a better design because there isn’t a profit involved. Authors are motivated by

Bank's Liquidity

3184 words - 13 pages satisfy its funding requirements (Gup, Avram, Beal, Lambert & Kolari, 2007).The primary sources of bank's liabilities are classified into deposits and non-deposits. The main variation between them is depositors will gain a priority over the non-depositors for the amount of their assets improperly mingled with the fund (Gup et al., 2007).Current deposits, fixed deposits, certificates of deposits and others such as saving account and card account

Ethics and Information Security

1074 words - 4 pages Ethics and Online Source Information What is Ethics? In my opinion, ethics give people free will to make right choices. People have free will to make choices that are governed with responsibility, accountability, and liability. We have a responsibility to perform in an ethical manner and be accountable for our choices or actions. Regardless of the circumstances and choices we make, there are consequences if we make the wrong choice. The

EU Environmental Policy and Turkey

4685 words - 19 pages annexes affects development efforts negatively and being responsible of the same liabilities with developed countries in terms of oscillation of greenhouse gases is contrary to the principle of common but differentiated liability.Turkey changed its attitude about deletion of her name from Annexes I and II at 7th Conference of Parties in Marrakesh in 2001. According to the decision taken during in this conference, Turkey was accepted as an Annex I

Internet Rulings, Law and Regulations

522 words - 2 pages identification details. The law prohibits the acquisition, transfer, or use of another person's identification details without legal authority or for fraudulent actions and punish offenders with a penalty of fifteen years imprisonment or/and a maximum fine of $250,000. The use of another person's details must be with full knowledge and intention to commit, abet, or aid in criminal actions.Computer Fraud and Abuse ActThis is a law that gives a

Should a company select proprietary, open source, or free software for it’s most important information systems?

1434 words - 6 pages , free, or proprietary, involves the constant input of the user. According to Wikipedia, "Gregorio Robles suggests that Users should be treated as co-developers." This is virtually true for all software but with open source users are both a vital and contributing role in the development, maintenance, and processing of the software. It not only serves to create a bridge over the gap between developer software, and user-friendly software

Businesses and Tax Breaks in a Digital Economy

1382 words - 6 pages recovery. Not enough with the banks, the governments of major economies led by G-20, are now trying to go after taxes of multinational companies, which they alleged using tax planning schemes to avoid paying their “fair share” of taxes that can be used to finance economic development for the public, which facing deep spending cuts especially in many major economies such as United Kingdom (UK) and United States of America (US). In the era of digital

The Microsoft Public License and How It May Be Utilized

2221 words - 9 pages patents. A user will not be forced to pay for using another part of the code as it was adjusted. In other words, there are no patents involved and people will not have to pay to use them (LeBlanc 2). Several other legal aspects of the program can also be found within the text for this license. The MS-PL text states that a person who wants to distribute any part of the open source software used with this license in mind must retain the copyright

Legal Issues Paper

3134 words - 13 pages owner of the business is not able to maintain finances and keep up with debt's, the collector can go after the sole proprietor's home, personal savings, or other personal assets in order to pay the balance of the debt. The sole proprietor, depending upon what state he or she lives in, does have options of homestead protection and / or business insurance for any liabilities the owner may face. No legal steps are needed to be taken when first

Similar Essays

Open Source Vs Traditional Development Essay

1871 words - 7 pages Open Source vs Traditional Development In the world of technology today there is room for everyone at every level of expertise. From our identified Gurus, to the just bought their first computer newbie. Home computers are sometimes almost to easy to use. The old saying "just enough rope to hang yourself" comes to mind. Settings that modify the very way the system looks, and runs can be changed with the simple click of the mouse. This

Open Source Software And Developing Nations.

889 words - 4 pages computer, the current phenomenal price of software turns millions into "pirates". In these parts of the globe, words such as free or low cost are not necessarily associated with low-quality, but offer to include millions who otherwise would be simply left out in the cold. Developing countries can achieve rapid and sustained economic and social development by using affordable yet effective Open Source ICT solutions for bridging the digital divide

The Economics Of Technology: Open Source Software (Oss)

1528 words - 7 pages Introduction Over the past few years, there has been a surge of interest in Open Source Software (OSS) development. Interest in this process, which involves software developers at many different locations and organizations sharing code to develop and refine software programs. You must be wondering what an Open Source Software (OSS) is. Open source software is a computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in

What´S Insolvency Law? Essay

3534 words - 15 pages methodology to be adopted in undertaking this discounting exercise. There are clear differences between legal and accounting definitions of assets and liabilities, with accountants focusing on economic substance and the law more on legal form and ownership. This presents challenges as to how future and contingent assets should be valued. For instance, should they be assessed on a going concern or break-up basis and at what stage should future liability