Open Source Licensing

Open Source Licensing

A complete guide to the law of open source for developers, managers, and lawyers. This free book, “Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law”, clearly explains the intellectual property laws that support open source licensing, carefully reviews today’s leading licenses, and helps you make the best choices for your project or organization.


This book is about the law but it is not written for lawyers. You will not find citations to case law or rigorous academic analyses suitable for publication in a law journal. This book is written for my friends in the open source community who write and distribute software and who are confused about which licenses to use. It is also written for our customers who are concerned about how software licenses may affect them and their businesses. It seeks to dispel myths and fears about open source software licensing and to explain the legal context in which open source software exists.

Table of Contents

  • Freedom and Open Source
  • Intellectual Property
  • Distribution of Software
  • Taxonomy of Licenses
  • Academic Licenses
  • Reciprocity and the GPL
  • The Mozilla Public License (MPL)
  • The Common Public License (CPL)
  • The OSL and the AFL
  • Choosing an Open Source License
  • Shared Source, Eventual Source, and Other Licensing Models
  • Open Source Litigation
  • Open Standards

Book Details

Author(s): Lawrence Rosen
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Format(s): PDF
Number of pages: 432
Link: Download or read online.

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