“Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine – too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, ‘intellectual property’, the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better.”
The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, Stewart Brand
The tension underlying the value of information translates into two predominant software paradigms: Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and proprietary software. The criteria for differentiation between these two approaches is based on control over the software/information. With proprietary software, control tends to lie more with the vendor, while with Free and Open Source Software it tends to be more weighted towards the end user. But even though the paradigms differ, they use the same copyright laws to reach and enforce their goals. From a legal perspective, Free and Open Source Software can be considered as software to which users generally receive more rights via their license agreement than they would have with a proprietary software license, yet the underlying license mechanisms are the same.
However, as legal systems differ throughout the world there are significant differences in how Free and Open Source Software licenses are treated in different countries, and it can be difficult to obtain reliable information on national interpretations. The IFOSS Law Book engages with these issues by providing a clear yet thorough analysis of Free and Open Source legal matters by national legal experts. It covers thirteen countries in its first release, and will expand over time to cover more. The purpose of this book is to provide a clear, compelling and simple way for legal professionals, law students and academics and policy makers to contextualize the ramifications and imperatives of the field in their own nation, and in the nations of others. This lofty goal is supported by necessity; the very nature of Free and Open Source Software assumes collaboration to drive value, and such collaboration is by the nature of the Internet not confined to national borders while simultaneously being defined in legal terms by their differing systems, laws and interpretations of best practice in the management of creative goods.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Reperibile su: ifosslawbook.org/