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Title: "A Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects"
Authors: Richard Fontana Software Freedom Law Center
Bradley M. Kuhn Software Freedom Law Center
Eben Moglen Software Freedom Law Center
Matthew Norwood Software Freedom Law Center
Daniel B. Ravicher Software Freedom Law Center
Karen Sandler Software Freedom Law Center
James Vasile Software Freedom Law Center
Publication Date: March 3 2008
Free/Fee: Free Access
Reads: 7965
Abstract: While FOSS development can raise many legal issues, a few topics predominate in our work; these are the issues most integral to FOSS projects. This Primer provides a baseline of knowledge about those areas of the law, intending to support productive conversations between clients and lawyers about specific legal needs. We aim to improve the conversation between lawyer and client, but not to make it unnecessary, because law, like most things in life, very rarely has clear cut answers. Solutions for legal problems must be crafted in light of the particulars of each client's situation. What is best for one client in one situation, may very well not be best for another client in the same situation, or even the same client in the same situation at a later date or in a different place. Law cannot yield attainable certainty because it is dynamic, inconsistent, and incapable of mastery by pure rote memorization. This is why we do not provide forms or other tools for &quot;do it yourself&quot; lawyering, which are almost always insufficient and, in fact, can be very harmful to a project's interests.
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