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a critical view on opensource software

a critical view on opensource software

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  • Molti interessante. Grazie
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  • This was very informative and helpful. We do need to understand about how licences and use of software will affect us. Loss of authorship seems to be how we are going because of the amount of collaboration being encouraged. We need to decide if that is good or bad. Confusion can make us fall foul of the law. you have helped to clear up some of these aspects.
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  • Thanks for sharing this very interesting documents!!!
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  • The word “source” in the phrase “open source software” refers to the source code of a computer program. Computer programs or operating systems are originally written by a human being in a programming language. This is called the source code of the software. To change a program, a programmer changes the source-code text and then generates a new version of the program from it. Without the source code one generally cannot modify or fix a program beyond narrow bounds foreseen by its original author. Advocates of open source calls for sharing this source code.

Copyright or Copy left by manoranjan, glc, tvpm Copyright or Copy left by manoranjan, glc, tvpm Presentation Transcript

  • COPYRIGHT OR COPYLEFT
    Righteousness of Open Sourcing
    In The Eyes of Law
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • COPYRIGHTED OR PROPRIETARY SOFTWARES
    • A Software which comes with a licence providing the supplier, control over the source code;
    • The supplier holds ownership or intellectual property rights over it;
    • Restriction over modifications and the distribution of the source code.
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • PROPRIETARY SOFTWARES- A Close Watch
    • COST!
    License fee
    Product bundling—example: Microsoft office
    • Often not built to open standards, leading to interoperability problems
    • The user is having no access to the source code, and he is totally under the mercy of the developer
    • Vendors of proprietary software can “withdraw the product, discontinue its support, go out of business, and/or can be acquired by another vendor who can do any of the above”
    • No continuous development by information sharing
    • TRIPS considers a copyrighted software as a literary work and it is protected for a period of 60 years!! It will be obsolete by then…
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • 2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
    The copyright law, which originally aims to restrict the unauthorized commercial exploitation of the work by others, itself is being used as a tool for exploitation !!!
  • OPEN SOURCE PHILOSOPHY
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • “GIVE USERSTHE FREEDOMS TO RUN, COPY, DISTRIBUTE, STUDY, CHANGE AND IMPROVE”
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • OPEN SOURCE DEFINITION(OSD)
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • 2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Copyleft Uses Copyright, To Guarantee The Freedom Of The Users To Use, Modify & Redistribute. . .
    First the software is copyrighted
    Then terms of distributions are added to it which gives to everyone the rights to use, modify and redistribute the same, i.e., the program’s code or any program derived from it
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Features of Copylefting:-
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Advantages of OSS
    • PRICE: Generally no or low license fees;
    • Availability of source code coupled with permission to make modifications;
    • Access open source development community, which may be very active with respect to code used. Continuing improvement; outstanding development;
    • More likely to be built to open standards, so interoperable with other open standards systems.
    • Technology neutral, meaning that applications will run on more than one platform (such as Windows, Linux, Unix, and MacOSX)
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Viral Nature Of Copyleft Licenses
    • “The condition that any derivative work that is distributed or published must be licensed as a whole under the terms of the same license”
    • Term “viral” has generated an “unreasonable fear of infection” among commercial firms
    • The requirement of reciprocity only applies to works based on the program
    • Mere use of OSS software will not generate any obligation to release one’s own software code as an OSS
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Fear Uncertainty Doubt (FUD)
    • Designed to undermine the popular perception of the open source philosophy
    • Achieved by issuing dire warnings about security concerns, interoperability, or simple ideological attack
    • Most effective way to achieve legal uncertainty is conducting litigation
    ►SCO v. IBM
    ► Red Hat v. SCO
    ► SCO v. Novell(dismissed)
    ► SCO v. AutoZone(dismissed)
    ► SCO v. DaimlerChrysler(dismissed)
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • 2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
    ►SCO v. DaimlerChrysler
    • Main allegations: DC failed to certify, as requested by SCO, that DC is in compliance with certain use restrictions in licenses to the UNIX operating system over which SCO claims ownership;
    • DC claims it has supplied the certification (and that it no longer uses the licensed software), and requests dismissal;
    • Case Dismissed.
    ►SCO v. AutoZone
    • Main allegations: AutoZone illegally copied (or included derived works of) proprietary Unix code into Linux distributions based on the 2.4 and 2.6 kernels, thus violating SCO’s copyrights;
    • AutoZone requests a “stay” and advanced the following issues:
    • The elements of the claim are already at issue in SCO v. Novell, Red Hat v. SCO, and SCO v. IBM;
    • Used the Red Hat judge’s “waste of judicial resources” language;
    • In the alternative, SCO should provide more detail on its claims;
    • Stay allowed.
  • 2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
    ►SCO v. Novell
    • Main allegations: slander of title and rights to IP, slander of reputation, interference with business relationships;
    • Novell files motion to dismiss;
    • Case dismissed.
    ► SCO v. IBM
    • SCO sues IBM;
    • Main allegations: misappropriation of trade secrets (IBM’s AIX product includes proprietary SCO code); breach of contract;
    • Amended in July 2003 to include more specific claims of contract breach (IBM agreements and Sequent agreement);
    • IBM countersues SCO;
    • Main allegations: breach of contract, Lanham Act and unfair competition; unfair/deceptive trade practices; patent infringement; copyright infringement; breach of GPL;
    • Case pending.
  • Legal Validity Of OSS
    • In Jacobsen v. Katzer, {2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 63568 (N.D. Cal. 2007)}US Court, upholding the validity of an open source license
    held that remedies for breach of an open source license are in contract, not copyright
    Court limited it to contract remedies which are monetary (not injunctive relief for copyright infringement)
    • In Welte v. S. Deutschland, a German court has upheld the enforceability of the GPL.
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Legal Remedies In Indian Law, When Read WithJacobsen V. Katzer
    Following remedies may be sought under ICA,1872:
    • Damages
    • Injunction
    • Specific performance
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Certain Inconveniences of OSS:-
    • License terms are NOT standard: thus important to pay close attention to terms;
    • No maintenance and support (unless purchased separately);
    • No warranties regarding media, viruses, and performance
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • 2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
    Many disadvantages of the above mentioned, can be addressed by procuring open source software through a third party vendor that will provide maintenance, support, additional warranties, etc.
  • DANGER OF PUBLIC DOMAIN
    • Were OSS software to be in the public domain, everyone could appropriate it and modify it;
    • They could even remove the author’s name obtain copyright over it;
    • The structure of incentives that currently sustains OSS development would be jeopardized.
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • DANGER OF PUBLIC DOMAIN
    “If put in public domain, middle level users may convert it into proprietary software, and may deny the freedom to modify or improve”
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Case study: OSS In Libraries
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
    • Open source project organisation is “a loosely knit community of interested developers and end-users”. This is particularly applicable to projects to develop library and information management applications.
    • Librarians lack the skills to be active developers, but have extensive knowledge of their specialised requirements, while experienced developers are unlikely to have significant experience with library requirements
    • As Brandt (2001) notes, librarians have long been active not only in taking advantage of technological innovations, but also in experimenting with new approaches (e.g.: using Peter Scott’s HyTelnet ); the OSS approach should increase the opportunities for such activity.
  • Case study: OSS in Libraries , contd…
    • Library softwares are slow to evolve and expensive to upgrade; need driven approach of OSS is a good bargain for the requirements of Libraries.
    • WIBS (Windsor Internet Booking System) which allows libraries to schedule use of public computers is based on an earlier F/OS project, MRBS (Meeting Room Booking System)
    • In OSS there is no risk of vendors withdrawing the product, discontinuing its support or going out of business; It is possible for another organisation to take on the role of project “co-ordinator” if the project originator is unable to continue in the role.
    • In the MyLibrary project, when the project’s main developer, Eric Lease Morgan, changed jobs the support to the project was shifted from North Carolina State University to Notre Dame University.
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • 2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
    This model shows the different project-related tasks done by people in the different roles, and it also shows that people’s involvement in a particular project may change over time. In a library and information context, the developers would not necessarily also be users of the software.
  • Open source as an alternative to copyright
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • COPYLEFT FOR COPYRIGHT
    • Though Copyleft uses copyright law, it flips it over, to serve the opposite of its usual purpose i.e., instead of a means of privatising software, it becomes a means of keeping software free; “Rather than diminishing the commons, the copyright in open source software protects the commons.”
    • It prevents the developer’s monopoly; promotes creativity, pace of improvement and reduces the cost
    • An individual programmer working for an MNC would feel foolish if he puts in all efforts to develop/update a code just to see the MNC, who will be the first owner under the present copyright law, selling his efforts and improvement without giving anything back to him
    • An OSS license assures a programmer :
    • The right to make copies of the program, and redistribute these copies further;
    • The right to make further improvements to the program
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • COPYLEFT FOR COPYRIGHT contd…
    • Copyleft licenses are enforceable, as commercial agreements according to the law of Contracts
    • Unlike Copyright, OSS protects the interest of both users and developers
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • “FUTURE IS OPEN”-Users Of Open Source
    • Its Users Are No Longer Just Geeks & Radical Specialty Vendors
    • Heavy Hitters: IBM, C.A., H-P, Sun, PalmSource, WebMethods, Apple, Novell, Sybase, SGI, etc., etc.
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • Graphical View Of Present OSS Activities:
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • “Love Thy Neighbor As Thou Love Thee”
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram
  • THANK YOU
    2011 BY GLC-Thiruvananthapuram