At different points in the video there are screens with text from various documents. Here is where you can find more complete versions of those documents:
- US Constitution: www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html
- GNU General Public License (GPL): www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl.html
- The MIT License: www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php
- Perl Kit, Version 5, README: search.cpan.org/src/NWCLARK/perl-5.8.6/README
- MySQL Open Source License: www.mysql.com/company/legal/licensing/opensource-license.html
- Linux Kernel COPYING file: www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/COPYING
Here are some books that are related to material in the video (this is by no means an exhaustive list):
Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law
by Lawrence Rosen, Prentice Hall.
This is a very detailed discussion of open source licenses and the law behind them, written by a lawyer who served as general counsel of the Open Source Initiative. This is not a "how to" book, but rather a "let's get a deep understanding of legal issues and gray areas" one.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar
by Eric S. Raymond, O'Reilly.
This book contains classic essays on the philosophy behind open source written by an influential and vocal member of the Open Source community.
The Art of UNIX Programming
by Eric S. Raymond, Addison Wesley.
This is an introduction to the Unix-style operating systems, with an emphasis on the philosophy behind its architecture. This can help non-Unix people better understand the environment used by many open source developers which may help in understanding their mindset for interpreting license terms.
Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, Edited by Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman & Mark Stone, O'Reilly.
This is a series of essays from many players in the open source world, published in 1999.
Free Software Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman edited by Joshua Gay, GNU Press.
These essays are from GNU Project founder and MacArthur Foundation Grant winner Richard Stallman, one of the authors of the GPL and some of the early popular programs covered by it.
Here are a variety of links to related material:
- Open Source Initiative: www.opensource.org
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to managing and promoting the Open Source Definition through the OSI Certified Open Source Software certification mark and program. The website has a list of many Open Source licenses that meet their definition of Open Source, including the text of those licenses.
- Free Software Foundation: www.fsf.org
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) promotes the development and use of Free Software, particularly the GNU operating system, used widely in its GNU/Linux variant. It developed the GNU General Public License, the GPL. This website has much material about the GPL and discussions about of the ethical and political issues surrounding freedom in the use of software.
- Groklaw: www.groklaw.net
The award-winning website that most closely follows the SCO lawsuits against IBM and others. Groklaw has frequent blog-postings, with comments, as well as copies of as many of the publicly available documents related to the cases as they can get. Required reading for anyone interested in the SCO lawsuits. In addition, there is material related to the GPL, Linux, and other Open Source issues.
- US Copyright Office: www.copyright.gov
Website of the US Copyright Office with a large amount of material about copyright, including the text of the major copyright laws.
- US Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section:
- Quick Reference Chart -- Open Source Licenses:
A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing many Open Source licenses and their attributes, such as "Can freely copy and distribute? Y/N", "Can charge royalty for distribution of modified program", etc. From the Massachusetts State Information Technology Division, www.mass.gov/itd.
The video only scratches the surface on most of the issues discussed. Here is further information on some of the areas discussed or left out (as usual, this is NOT LEGAL ADVICE):
- Works Made For Hire
The video briefly touches on the area of "Works made for hire" when an employer ends up with the rights to works authored by an employee. There is a lot to this area. One thing to look out for is when the "employee" is really a contractor (by some definition, and there are more than one). The company commissioning the work needs to be sure that the legal papers are in order to make sure that they get the rights they think they do. Employees need to be careful about work they may think is outside of the scope of their employment and that they think they own the rights to (for example, work done at home on some other project). They may not know that work they are doing is covered under an implicit "Work Made For Hire" assumption by some laws. In general, it's worth checking with your own attorney to see what the exact situation you are in does to your author's rights.
- More Emphasis On Copyright Now
There are many additional reasons for the increasing emphasis on copyrights and licenses. One thing I've heard multiple times is that the Internet is making it so much easier for developers to get source code themselves without going through normal corporate channels. In the "old days", getting software in a corporation often involved paying money and that brought in the purchasing department (often associated with the finance people who were involved with the legal people) that kept track of licenses, etc. Today, with open source software that is free of charge, the purchasing people (and all those others) are cut out of the loop without knowing it.
The video briefly mentions tools that can scan source code to try to identify use of Open Source and other code from elsewhere. One company that makes such tools (and that Dan has a small financial relationship with) is Black Duck Software. There are other companies that are developing tools in this area, including Padamida.
The video briefly mentions the LGPL license, the GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the "Library GPL"). This was developed by the Free Software Foundation to handle cases where they wanted to allow certain types of close connections between code covered by a Free license and code covered by other, incompatible licenses. Some companies, such as JBoss, use this, too, for their non-library products. See www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/lgpl.html and www.jboss.org/company/aboutopensource.