Publisher: Wiley, 2008, 285 pages
Keywords: Open Source
A practical guide to leveraging open source in business
The law of open source is complex and constantly changing. Some legal issues related to it are thorny and undecided. Those called upon to make decisions about open source have found little information to guide them in traditional legal materials… until now. Author Heather Meeker — voted one of the top thirty intellectual property lawyers in California — brings her ten years of extensive involvement in open source legal issues to bear in The Open Source Alternative — a practical resource to help you implement open source intelligently, without compromising the value of your intellectual property or stepping into a potential lawsuit.
Written in plain English for both lawyers and professionals, The Open Source Alternative provides an accessible discussion of the different licensing strategies to consider with open source. This invaluable reference tool for CIOs, CFOs, IT managers, auditors, and attorneys, as well as all interested professionals, provides you with the background and tools you need to understand this area of law and develop your own conclusions and best practices. Divided into two parts — leveraging opportunities and understanding risks — the book explores: the rules of the road for use of open source in proprietary products, assessing legal risk of using open source, how to understand and leverage patents and trademarks in the open source landscape, and developing policies for use of open source in your business.
Formulating best practices in open source development requires familiarity with a complex set of facts and industry practices, as well as the political, business, and legal principles behind them. The Open Source Alternative is a must-read for any professional who needs to stay on top of this rapidly changing field.
It is refreshing to read a book that lives up to its own hype! This is really a book for the businessman/woman that is looking for layman advice on the F/OSS legal stuff, written by a lawyer, and explaining both the technology background, the culture, the different laws (from an American perspective, of course) and the impact on business this may have. I am sure that a practicing lawyer may find faults in this book, or a fanatical F/OSS adherent with their own interpretation, but for its audience, this is exactly what is needed.
It is probably one of the best book on its subject to date.
Highly recommended as an introduction to F/OSS licensing from a corporate perspective.