Government Policy Toward Open Source Software - download pdf or read online

By Robert W. Hahn

ISBN-10: 0815733933

ISBN-13: 9780815733935

Open resource software program, of which the working procedure Linux is the main widely-known instance, permits unfastened whole entry and amendment of resource code as long as the consequent product can also be open resource. Hahn (of the yank company Institute-Brookings Joint middle for Regulatory reports) offers 4 assorted perspectives on govt coverage. The commentaries variety from arguments that open resource software program addresses industry disasters and the govt may still tilt in the direction of open resource production to arguments that the govt. has an curiosity in selling the non-public for-profit production of software program.

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But this condition is not necessarily any more expensive than the conditions imposed by proprietary code. If our Linux developer wanted to create a modified, cross-platform-compatible version of Windows, he would be no more free to redistribute the resulting Microsoft code than he would be free to distribute the modified Linux code under the GPL. If he could get the permission of Microsoft at all, no doubt he would have to pay a high price. The difference then is not that one licensing system imposes burdens while the other does not; the difference is in the nature of the burdens.

For an example of a trivial invention, see the patent abstract shown in figure 2-3. p65 29 11/12/2002, 6:54 AM 30 JAMES BESSEN of training janitors using illustrated manuals. ” They must not have read Highlights Magazine for Children in their youth. If they had, they would have found prior art in the “Goofus and Gallant” feature, which shows cartoons of the right and wrong way to do things. Another example is a recent patent for a method of swinging sideways on a backyard swing (No. 59 Now in fairness, these are unusually bad patents.

The Linux operating system is perhaps the best-known software distributed under the GPL. A variety of software that runs with Linux is also distributed under the GPL, including KDE, a graphical user interface, and OpenOffice, a business productivity suite. The use of the GPL or BSD license divides the open source community sharply. Several prominent proponents of open source have advocated the greater use of BSD-style licenses to encourage the development of for-profit software that can work with open source.

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Government Policy Toward Open Source Software by Robert W. Hahn


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