• International Free and Open Source Software Law Review

Editorial Committee of IFOSSLR
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The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) is a collaborative legal publication aiming to increase knowledge and understanding among lawyers about Free and Open Source Software issues. Topics covered include copyright, licence implementation, licence interpretation, software patents, open standards, case law and statutory changes.

Latest documents

  • Editorial
  • Red Flag Way: Exploring copyright protection, TRIPS and Open Source software licensing in the People's Republic of China

    The focus of this paper is to explore the interaction between open source software licenses and China’s developing stance on intellectual property laws and standards over the last three and a half decades. It is contended that open source software licensing alters the intended use of copyright protection in a manner which conforms to the cultural understandings of the People’s Republic of China. It is also argued that a copyright policy that is preferential towards open source software licensing would advance the PRC’s conformity to TRIPS’ minimum protection requirements.

  • Expendable ?Written' ICT Policies in a Digital Era, No Broken Promise

    In Turkey, whether distinguishing software as Free Open Source Software (FOSS) or Proprietary Closed Source Software (PCSS), there is no precise ‘National ICT Policy in Public Institutions.’ It is crucial to evaluate ICT Policy, particularly how and why it is incomprehensible, as a case study to conceptualise ICT Policy from a national psyche. The study focuses on the reasons for not ‘governing’ ICT Policy and identifies the conditions behind this omission. I argue how FOSS is deliberately ignored due to: obvious, institutional inertia, path dependence and ungovernable ICT changes and, arguably, corruption in new public management. The study concludes that Turkey has failed to produce written ICT Policies and to establish pervasive and trustworthy (flexible) ICT ecosystems, which recogn...

  • Who owns the project name?

    In the United States, ownership of trade marks can be bedevilling. A trade mark registration is not a grant of rights, only recognition of already-existing rights. A trade mark is owned by the first to use it and may only be registered by the owner. However, there is no consistent rule or standard that courts apply when deciding disputes over ownership. Complicating matters further, U.S. trade mark law eschews the concept of joint ownership, considering it inconsistent with a trademark's role as a sole source identifier or assurer of quality. Thus, courts are in the position of having to identify a single owner of a trade mark using poorly defined law. This article will review the various ways that courts have decided who owns a trade mark when there are two claimants. It will also pro...

  • The European Union Public Licence (EUPL)

    This paper details the origin and main characteristics of , an OSI-approved free or open source software licence, copyrighted by the European Union. It focuses on the new version 1.2 of the EUPL that has been drafted in 2013, which the European Commission reports will be published before the end of the year. However, comments are relevant for the version 1.1 as well. What makes the EUPL unique is its multilingual working value, specific warranties, references to the Court of Justice of the European Union and its provisions related to licence compatibility, making its copyleft "variable" for facilitating interoperability. The operation of this copyleft component of the licence is probably its most specific aspect, sometimes wrongly understood as a ...

  • Book review: 'Thoughts on Open Innovation', edited by Shane Coughlan

    Kari Kärkkäinen reviews Thoughts on Open Innovation (ed. Shane Coughlan, 2013) which is a collection of essays discussing various topics around the concept of Open Innovation.

  • Advancing the Software Package Data Exchange: An update on SPDX

    Since 2010, the Software Package Data Exchange, a Linux Foundation work group, has made great progress. This article provides an overview of advancements on the specification itself, survey results on use, adoption by corporate users and FOSS communities, and future plans and initiatives.

  • Free and open source software across the EU

    Across the EU, there is a groundswell of public administrations that use open source for their ICT solutions. Evidence of its benefits as well as practical examples are steadily piling up at the European Commission's Open Source Observatory. The areas where this type of solution can be found most include, in random order, content management (CMS), document management (DMS), database applications, all kinds of online e-government services, geo-information systems (GIS) and in most if not all publicly provided applications built to use open data

  • Editorial
  • Copyleft, -right and the case law on APIs on both sides of the Atlantic

    Like any relatively young area of law, copyright on software is surrounded by some legal uncertainty. Even more so in the context of copyleft open source licenses, since these licenses in some respects aim for goals that are the opposite of 'regular' software copyright law. This article provides an analysis of the reciprocal effect of the GPLfamily of copyleft software licenses (the GPL, LGPL and the AGPL) from a mostly copyright perspective as well as an analysis of the extent to which the SAS/WPL case affects this family of copyleft software licenses. In this article the extent to which the GPL and AGPL reciprocity clauses have a wider effect than those of the LGPL is questioned, while both the SAS/WPL jurisprudence and the Oracle vs Google case seem to affirm the LGPL's "dynamic link...

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