Intellectual Property Issues in Open Source


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Presentation for the Workshop on Intellectual Property and Software, Mauritius, 26/04/2013

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Intellectual Property Issues in Open Source

  1. 1. ( )Main IP issuesconcerning OSSDr Andrés Guadamuz
  2. 2. ( )ApologiesLöki
  3. 3. ( )Another story
  4. 4. ( )Another story
  5. 5. ( )Another story
  6. 6. ( )Another story
  7. 7. ( )Legal conservationareasBy howardignatius
  8. 8. ( )Self-organization!
  9. 9. ( )Creative CommonsAttribution: Every CC licenses allows the world tocopy and distribute a work provided that thelicensee credits the creator/licensor.The author may include these other elements:NonCommercial: licensees can use the work fornon-commercial purposes.No Derivatives: the work cannot be modified.ShareAlike: the work can be copied, modified anddistributed if the author releases the derivativeunder the same license.
  10. 10. ( )
  11. 11. ( )
  12. 12. ( )Human-ReadableCommons DeedLawyer-ReadableLegal CodeMachine-ReadableDigital Code<a rel="license" href=""><img alt="Creative CommonsLicense" style="border-width:0"src="" /></a><br />Thiswork is licensed under a <arel="license" href="">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License</a>.
  13. 13. ( )LicensesBY AttributionBY-NC Attribution - Non CommercialBY-SA Attribution - Share AlikeBY-ND Attribution - No DerivativesBY-NC-SA Attribution - Non Commercial - Share AlikeBY-NC-ND Attribution - Non Commercial - No Derivatives
  14. 14. )( FLOSS Licenseecology
  15. 15. ( )Spectrum of rights
  16. 16. ( )Legal issues⊛ Licenses, licenses, licenses⊛ Patents⊛ Contract formation⊛ Third party rights⊛ Enforcement
  17. 17. ( )Common elements⊛ Licenses allow users to perform acts thatthey would otherwise would not be allowedto.⊛ Some rights reserved.⊛ Grant of license allows installation, use,reuse, publishing, decompilation,interoperability, etc.⊛ Access to the source code is a must.
  18. 18. ( )Licenses⊛ Open Source Initiative (OSI) lists 69approved licenses.⊛ In 2007 I conducted an informal surveyfinding 245 licenses.⊛ Black Duck database lists now over 1000licenses.
  19. 19. ( )OSI categories⊛ License that are popular and widely used orwith strong communities⊛ Special purpose licenses⊛ Other/Miscellaneous licenses⊛ Licenses that are redundant with morepopular licenses⊛ Non-reusable licenses⊛ Superseded licenses⊛ Licenses that have been voluntarily retired⊛ Uncategorized Licenses
  20. 20. ( )Rosen’sclassification⊛ Academic licenses: Academic licensesplace no requirements whatsoever on thelicense user.⊛ Reciprocal licenses: Require some form ofreciprocity, usually that any derivatives ofthe software be released under the samelicense.⊛ Standard licenses: They seek to create abase standard of software anddocumentation.⊛ Content licenses: Protect non-softwareelements, such as pictures and music.
  21. 21. ( )Academic (BSD)⊛ Redistribution and use in source and binaryforms, with or without modification, arepermitted provided that the following conditionsare met:⊛ Redistributions of source code must retain the abovecopyright notice, this list of conditions and thefollowing disclaimer.⊛ Redistributions in binary form must reproduce theabove copyright notice, this list of conditions and thefollowing disclaimer in the documentation and/orother materials provided with the distribution.⊛ Neither the name of the <ORGANIZATION> nor thenames of its contributors may be used to endorse orpromote products derived from this software withoutspecific prior written permission.
  22. 22. ( )Copyleft⊛ Actually, it is not the opposite of copyright,in fact, it uses copyright for protection.⊛ Copyleft is a licensing method by which thework is protected by copyright, but it willhave a specific clause that allows a work toremain “open” through a share-alike or viralclause.⊛ Openness in this context means that theoriginal work and whatever derivatives mustremain available to the public in one way oranother.
  23. 23. ( )General PublicLicense (GPL)⊛ Allows licensees to use and distribute thesoftware.⊛ Contains “viral” element, all works that arederived from the license must be distributedwith the GPL.⊛ The “Lesser General Public License”contains the same terms as the GPL, butgives additional permissions to those whowish to re-distribute code.
  24. 24. ( )Copyleft clauseGPL v2⊛ “2(b) You must cause any work that youdistribute or publish, that in whole or in partcontains or is derived from the Program orany part thereof, to be licensed as a wholeat no charge to all third parties under theterms of this License.”
  25. 25. ( )GPL v3⊛ It is longer, and more complex than itspredecessor.⊛ Take-up by developers has been slow.⊛ Boosted viral clause (it now may apply toother software included with the GPLsoftware).⊛ Restricts the use of Technical ProtectionMeasures.⊛ Includes a patent licence.
  26. 26. ( )Top 10 licenses(2013)Rank License %1 GNU  General  Public  License  (GPL)  2.0 32.65%2 Apache  License  2.0 12.84%3 GNU  General  Public  License  (GPL)  3.0 11.62%4 MIT  License 11.28%5 BSD  License  2.0 6.83%6 ArFsFc  License  (Perl) 6.27%7 GNU  Lesser  General  Public  License  (LGPL)  2.1 6.19%8 GNU  Lesser  General  Public  License  (LGPL)  3.0 2.62%9 Eclipse  Public  License  (EPL) 1.61%10 Code  Project  Open  1.02  License 1.33%
  27. 27. ( )New copyleftclause⊛ “5.c) You must license the entire work, as awhole, under this License to anyone whocomes into possession of a copy. ThisLicense will therefore apply, along with anyapplicable section 7 additional terms, to thewhole of the work, and all its parts,regardless of how they are packaged. ThisLicense gives no permission to license thework in any other way, but it does notinvalidate such permission if you haveseparately received it.”
  28. 28. ( )Enforcement⊛ German court cases (GPL validity):⊛ Sitecom (Munich)⊛ Fortinet (Munich)⊛ D-Link (Frankfurt)⊛ SCO v IBM (copyright infringement)⊛ Jacobsen v Katzer (contract formation)⊛ Wallace v IBM (competition law)
  29. 29. ( )Creative CommonsCases⊛ Curry v. Audax (Netherlands)⊛ Pontevedra ruling (Spain)⊛ Case 09-1684-A (Belgium)⊛ Avi Reuveni v. Mapa inc. (Israel)⊛ Gerlach v (Germany)
  30. 30. ( )GPL v3 patentlicense grant⊛ “Each contributor grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patentlicense under the contributors essentialpatent claims, to make, use, sell, offer forsale, import and otherwise run, modify andpropagate the contents of its contributorversion.”
  31. 31. ( )InteroperabilityAlexandre Dulaunoy
  32. 32. ( )Distribution chainAuthor /OwnerLicensee /DerivativeLicensee /UserLicensee /DistributorDerivative User User DistributorDerivativeUser
  33. 33. ( )Actual chainsAuthor
  34. 34. ( )Incompatibilityissues⊛ GPL may not be compatible with yourlicensing strategy.⊛ Case Scenario 1: Using GPL’d softwareinternally and to produce commercialapplets does not require GPL redistribution.⊛ Case Scenario 2: Using GPL’d code,changing it as part of a proprietary packagerequires that the software should bereleased under GPL.
  35. 35. ( )Alpha!Gamma!Beta!GPLThird partyrights⊛ Alpha creates work, licenses withOA licence to Beta. Beta licenseswork to Gamma, which modifies itand sells it commercially.⊛ Can Alpha sue Gamma?⊛ Does Alpha have third party rights?
  36. 36. ( )Alpha!Gamma!Beta!InfringemeCopyrightinfringement⊛ Same case as before⊛ Can Alpha sue Gamma for copyrightinfringement?⊛ Seemingly yes if copying issubstantial.⊛ Tests for originality apply.⊛ Some OS projects ask creators toassign copyright.
  37. 37. ( )Contributoragreements⊛ Standardized contributory agreements allowdevelopers who contribute to a FOSSproject to submit their contributions andeither assign copyright, or grant anexclusive license.⊛ Contributor agreements provide confidencethat the guardian of a project’s output hasthe necessary rights over all contributions toallow for distribution of the product.
  38. 38. ( )Signatureformalities⊛ Does copyright law allow assignment(transfer) of rights?⊛ Does copyright law allow exclusivelicenses?⊛ If yes to both questions, are there anyformal requirements? (writing, signature)⊛ If yes, can those requirements be met byelectronic means?
  39. 39. ( )Concluding...
  40. 40. ( )Thank on TwitterCC Attribution-ShareAlike
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