ARTICLE: "INFECTIOUS" OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE: SPREADING INCENTIVES OR PROMOTING RESISTANCE? Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2004 Rutgers School of Law - Camden
Rutgers Law Journal

ARTICLE: "INFECTIOUS" OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE: SPREADING INCENTIVES OR PROMOTING RESISTANCE?

Fall, 2004


Rutgers Law Journal

36 Rutgers L. J. 53

Author

Greg R. Vetter *

Excerpt



Introduction



Copyright offers both incentives and deterrents to derivative uses, protecting derivative works as well as prohibiting their unauthorized production.



Paul Goldstein,

Derivative Rights and Derivative Works in Copyright 1



The GPL requires that works "derived from" a work licensed under the GPL also be licensed under the GPL. Unfortunately what counts as a derived work can be a bit vague. As soon as you try to draw the line at derived works, the problem immediately becomes one of where do you draw the line?



Linus Torvalds,

The Linux Edge 2

Too often, the open source software debate has an all-or-nothing flavor. 3 One might hear: open source software is better because the production process taps debugging efficiencies and harvests volunteer effort on an impressive scale. 4 Or hear: proprietary software is better because it promotes traditional software business and investment models, and software has seen rapid growth. 5

The debate gives insufficient credence to coexistence between the two types of software. 6 This inhibits progress toward an optimal presence for both types in the greater software ecosystem, both domestically and on the international scene. The growth trajectory of open source software suggests that it is a long-term player in that ecosystem, provided there is market confidence in the mode of legal protection underlying open source software.

Currently, open source software uses a copyright-based, generally applicable license to grant permissions for others to use, modify and distribute the software. In return, licensees must comply with conditions ...
 
 
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