Protecting the Virtual Commons: Self-Organizing Open Source Communities and Innovative Intellectual Property Regimes

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Date
2003
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Asser Press, International Distribution by Kluwer Law International
Abstract
"Worldwide, governments and business are recognizing the added value of open source and free software. Unlike other software, this software is developed and continuously improved by volunteers in communities on the Internet. Some of these communities, like Linux and Apache, connect thousands of volunteers worldwide. Question is how these communities are capable to continuously develop innovative software in a world dominated by markets, companies and laws. "Protecting the Virtual Commons tells about the surprisingly creative solutions that explain the long-lasting stability of the communities. It identifies the threats that the communities are faced with and discusses the amazingly innovative strategies developed to neutralize these threats. The book is written with a clear focus on intellectual property rights. "In their analysis, the authors provide answers to the following questions: Why have open source and free software communities created so many different licenses to protect their intellectual property? What influence do licenses have on the organization of the communities and their ability to innovate? What are the differences between intellectual property rights on software in Europe and the United States? What are the tensions between the way open source and free software communities deal with intellectual property and the way that companies protect and use intellectual property? What regulatory arrangements can deal with the tensions between the corporate model and the open source and free software development model?"
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Keywords
Internet, intellectual property rights, open access
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