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This book is a user manual for understanding and deployment of open source software licensing in business. Written for lawyers and businesspeople alike, it explains and analyzes open source licensing issues, and gives practical suggestions on how to deal with open source licensing in a business context. Including useful forms, information, and both technical and licensing background, this book will help you avoid legal pitfalls and edcuate your organization about the risks of open source.
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"In her book, Heather Meeker does a good job describing the "border dispute" of the Copyleft provision in the GPL" (ccsblog, March 16th, 2009)
"So I would say, this is the book to read, for a good account of the legal aspects surrounding open source." (dw2-o.com, 7/6/08)From the Back Cover:
A practical guide to leveraging open source in business
The law of open source is complex and constantly changing. Some legal issues related to it are thorny and undecided. Those called upon to make decisions about open source have found little information to guide them in traditional legal materials . . . until now. Author Heather Meeker--voted one of the top thirty intellectual property lawyers in California--brings her ten years of extensive involvement in open source legal issues to bear in The Open Source Alternative--a practical resource to help you implement open source intelligently, without compromising the value of your intellectual property or stepping into a potential lawsuit.
Written in plain English for both lawyers and professionals, The Open Source Alternative provides an accessible discussion of the different licensing strategies to consider with open source. This invaluable reference tool for CIOs, CFOs, IT managers, auditors, and attorneys, as well as all interested professionals, provides you with the background and tools you need to understand this area of law and develop your own conclusions and best practices. Divided into two parts--leveraging opportunities and understanding risks--the book explores: the rules of the road for use of open source in proprietary products, assessing legal risk of using open source, how to understand and leverage patents and trademarks in the open source landscape, and developing policies for use of open source in your business.
Formulating best practices in open source development requires familiarity with a complex set of facts and industry practices, as well as the political, business, and legal principles behind them. The Open Source Alternative is a must-read for any professional who needs to stay on top of this rapidly changing field.
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