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  1. 1. OPEN SOURCE 101Hope O’KeeffeEmmet DevineLibrary of CongressOffice of the General Counselloke@loc.govThis presentation text is in the public domain.
  2. 2. NDIIPP/Open Source Discussion NDIIPP and Open Source Copyright and Licenses Open Source Licenses License Considerations Best Practices
  3. 3. NDIIPP/Open Source Discussion NDIIPP and Open Source Copyright and Licenses Open Source Licenses License Considerations Best Practices
  4. 4. NDIIPP and Open Source NDIIPP – A cooperative, collaborative community – Building a toolbox of software Open Source – Software programs – Built by collaborative communities
  5. 5. What Open Source is A software program or set of software technologies Made widely available In source code form For use, modification, and redistribution Under a license agreement with few restrictions
  6. 6. What Open Source isnt Proprietary software – “Shareware” – “Freeware” Public domain software – Lacks copyright protection because: • It is older than a certain age • It was created by a United States government employee • The owner dedicated the work into the public domain – No restrictions on use or derivatives
  7. 7. Benefits of Open Source For the developers – Access to source code – jumpstarts projects and innovation – Community of developers – testing, patching, extending – Lowered initial cost of adoption for potential market For the users – Access to source code – allows local customization • Not locked into vendor or product lifecycle – Community of developers – steady, small improvements – Lowered initial cost of adoption for potential product Users become involved as developers
  8. 8. NDIIPP/Open Source Discussion NDIIPP and Open Source Copyright and Licenses Open Source Licenses License Considerations Best Practices
  9. 9. Copyright and Licenses Copyright is legal protection for original works of authorship Software created after 1977 is automatically protected by copyright – If original, minimally creative and fixed in a tangible form Copyright law grants exclusive rights in the software to the owner of the copyright – Owner is originally the creator (or their employer) – But copyright can be transferred by contract The open source software license is a grant of rights to users who would not otherwise have the right to use the software
  10. 10. “Rights” included in Copyright Copyright owners have the exclusive rights “to do and to authorize”: – Reproduce the work – Create derivative works (which recast, transform, or adapt the work) – Distribute copies of the work – Perform the work publicly – Display the work publicly
  11. 11. Example of Copyright Derivatives If you love Romeo and Juliet, but hate the ending: • It’s in the public domain – write new last act, make copies of the entire work and distribute • You have a derivative work and have the copyright on the last act. If you love Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but hate the ending: • It’s protected by copyright – can’t rewrite last chapter, make and distribute copies of the entire work without permission of the copyright holder • You have a lawsuit - but you hold the copyright in any original, minimally creative expression in the new last chapter
  12. 12. “Rights” not included in Copyright Copyright owners do not have any rights to any “idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery” in the work – Patents protect these types of “ideas” Copyright protects the expression, not the idea.
  13. 13. Summary of Copyright Protection Copyright protection is automatic Copyright protects expressions of an idea, not the idea itself To create a derivative work, permissions must be obtained from the owner
  14. 14. Role of Licenses Licenses specify the terms under which the copyrighted work can be “used” When you use open source software, you assent to its license agreement. When you license your work, you give others the right to use it on those terms. – Differs from license agreements with Microsoft or Oracle or any commercial vendor only in the terms of the contract – The license agreement is legally binding – it is enforceable in court – The license specifies rights and obligations
  15. 15. Enforcement of Licenses Cease and desist letters are typical first step If negotiation fails, lawsuit for copyright infringement – If the license is violated, the user did not have permission to use – copy, modify or distribute – the work Remedies for copyright infringement include: – Actual damages – based on proven monetary damages – Statutory damages – up to $150,000, if willful infringement – Injunctions – order to cease further use of the work – Attorney’s fees An important limitation on recovery of damages – Statutory damages and attorneys fees only available if copyright holder registers the work prior to the infringement or not later than 3 months after works publication
  16. 16. NDIIPP/Open Source Discussion NDIIPP and Open Source Copyright and Licenses Open Source Licenses License Considerations Best Practices
  17. 17. Open Source Licenses Open source software licenses grant users the right to: – Create derivative works by modifying the source code – Reproduce the work by creating copies of the software (in binary or source forms) – Distribute the work by making the software available for download (in either binary or source forms) The terms of license specify conditions under which the software may be used – Many license conditions relate to distribution of modifications – If you are not the holder of the copyright and have not been given permission to redistribute modifications under new terms, you can’t apply a new license to pre-existing code
  18. 18. OSI Open Source Definition  Free redistribution  Source code  Derived works  Integrity of the author’s source code  No discrimination against persons or groups  No discrimination against fields of endeavor  Distribution of license  License must not be specific to a product  License must not restrict other software  License must be technology-neutral See http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd
  19. 19. Important OSI Approved Licenses  Apache Licenses (1.1 + 2.0)  Artistic Licenses (Original + 2.0)  BSD Licenses (New, Simplified)  GNU Licenses (GPLv2, GPLv3, LGPL v2.1, LGPL v3, Affero v3)  Mozilla Licenses (MPL 1.0, MPL 1.1)
  20. 20. Important Difference in Licenses A crucial difference among licenses is their “permissiveness” or “reciprocity” – If a license is “permissive”, it is possible to “close” the source but redistribute the binary • BSD and Apache licenses are permissive; the GPL is not – The more a license is “reciprocal”, the less likely the source can be “closed” and still be redistributed • GNU licenses are generally highly reciprocal
  21. 21. NDIIPP/Open Source Discussion NDIIPP and Open Source Copyright and Licenses Open Source Licenses License Considerations Best Practices
  22. 22. Which License? Considerations Your institutions policies – Employers can claim copyright of employees work Your contractual obligations – Contracts can include a transfer of copyright The existing codebase – Reuse of any snippet of open source code for which you do not hold copyright is restricted by its license
  23. 23. Choosing a License Adopt a license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) at opensource.org Avoid license proliferation, use a popular license like Apache, BSD, GPL, LGPL, or MPL Choosing a license can be like choosing a religion – How strongly do you feel about the statement “ALL Software should be free?” – Would you be upset, or proud if someone else makes money from your copyright? – If your project is wildly successful, will you still be happy with your license choice? Analogy used by Donald Smith, Eclipse Foundation, Open Source Licensing for Developers, http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/ download.php?file=/technology/phoenix/talks/Licensing-for- Developers.ppt
  24. 24. If you are building on (or including)existing Open Source code Review the licensors interpretation of their license – Not because it is necessarily legally correct – But because it will be licensor’s argument in any dispute Not all licenses are compatible – GPL-licensed code cant be combined and distributed with BSD-licensed code – LGPL-licensed code can be utilized by BSD code Not all licenses define “use” of code identically – MPL distinguishes modifications by file contents – GPL distinguishes modifications by interfaces
  25. 25. If you are creating new OpenSource code Source code can be released under multiple licenses – Licenses do not grant exclusive use Copyright holders dont need license to copy, modify or distribute own works – Can distribute the source – Likely to produce “forks” if licenses are incompatible - when contributors only add their new code under one of the licenses
  26. 26. NDIIPP/Open Source Discussion NDIIPP and Open Source Copyright and Licenses Open Source Licenses License Considerations Best Practices
  27. 27. Challenges with Open Source• Fragmented, abandoned, niche projects – Open source is evaluated like other software (e.g. Magic Quadrant)• Documentation may be scant• Support and training may be lacking
  28. 28. Best practices…begin at the end Placing works into open source is the beginning of development activity, not the end Upload to Source Forge or another portal Select a project management / development strategy
  29. 29. Resources Open Source Initiative – http://www.opensource.org Specific licenses – GPL - http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html – Apache - http://www.apache.org/licenses/ – MPL - http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/ Source Forge – http://www.sourceforge.net Creative Commons – http://creativecommons.org Open Source Lab, Oregon State University – http://osuosl.org Open Source Lab, Stanford University – http://www.stanford.edu/group/opensource/cgi-bin/blog/
  30. 30. QuestionsImage: “Copyright,” http://xkcd.com/14/, used pursuant to Creative Commons Non Commercial Attribution license.
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