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Groklaw: Understanding Open Source Software

Mark Webbink, Red Hat's general counsel, wrote this article for attorneys wanting to know the basic issues regarding free and open source software. Aside from listing best practices for law offices, he provides a general overview of various open source licenses, explains US copyright law, defines derivative works, and touches on the indemnification issue and the difference between open source and shared source. Webbink also highlights some of the common myths and misconceptions about the General Public License (GPL) and open source and provides links to other sites with more information on open source software. Readers' comments and responses to the article are also posted in a threaded discussion format.
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Date of Scout Publication 2003-01-16
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