Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide to Protecting Code

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Jul 15, 2008 - Computers - 386 pages
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"Clear, correct, and deep, this is a welcome addition to discussions of law and computing for anyone -- even lawyers!"-- Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

If you work in information technology, intellectual property is central to your job -- but dealing with the complexities of the legal system can be mind-boggling. This book is for anyone who wants to understand how the legal system deals with intellectual property rights for code and other content. You'll get a clear look at intellectual property issues from a developer's point of view, including practical advice about situations you're likely to encounter.

Written by an intellectual property attorney who is also a programmer, Intellectual Property and Open Source helps you understand patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and licenses, with special focus on the issues surrounding open source development and the GPL. This book answers questions such as:

  • How do open source and intellectual property work together?
  • What are the most important intellectual property-related issues when starting a business or open source project?
  • How should you handle copyright, licensing and other issues when accepting a patch from another developer?
  • How can you pursue your own ideas while working for someone else?
  • What parts of a patent should be reviewed to see if it applies to your work?
  • When is your idea a trade secret?
  • How can you reverse engineer a product without getting into trouble?
  • What should you think about when choosing an open source license for your project?

Most legal sources are too scattered, too arcane, and too hard to read. Intellectual Property and Open Source is a friendly, easy-to-follow overview of the law that programmers, system administrators, graphic designers, and many others will find essential.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 The Economic and Legal Foundations of Intellectual Property
1
Chapter 2 The Patent Document
21
Chapter 3 The Patent System
49
Chapter 4 Copyright
71
Chapter 5 Trademarks
103
Chapter 6 Trade Secrets
119
Chapter 7 Contracts and Licenses
133
Chapter 8 The Economic and Legal Foundations of Open Source Software
153
Appendix B Open Source License List
281
Appendix C Free Software License List
285
Appendix D Fedora License List and GPL Compatibility
289
Appendix E Public Domain Declaration
299
Appendix F The Simplified BSD License
301
Appendix G The Apache License Version 20
303
Appendix H The Mozilla Public License Version 11
309
Appendix I The GNU Lesser General Public License Version 21
319

Chapter 9 So I Have an Idea
179
Chapter 10 Choosing a License
197
Chapter 11 Accepting Patches and Contributions
215
Chapter 12 Working with the GPL
223
Chapter 13 Reverse Engineering
239
Chapter 14 Incorporating As a NonProfit
253
Appendix A Sample Proprietary Information Agreement PIA
271
Appendix J The GNU Lesser General Public License Version 3
329
Appendix K The GNU General Public License Version 2 June 1991
333
Appendix L The GNU General Public License Version 3 June 2007
341
Appendix M The Open Software License Version 30
355
Index
359
Copyright

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