Title: The problems of openness – effective regulation of open source software

Authors: Mary Huang

Addresses: Addisons Lawyers, Level 12, 60 Carrington Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Abstract: Open source software (OSS) is a popular and growing global phenomenon that has significantly altered the development and use of software. The OSS phenomenon has been heralded as fostering creativity and innovation, as well as representing a paradigm shift in software development that resolves the 'software crisis'. However, a closer look at the Australian legal framework that applies to OSS indicates that the current framework does not adequately deal with the legal issues transpiring from the open source phenomenon. The object of this paper is to recommend an effective means of regulating OSS. In observing both Australian and US law, this paper will conclude that adopting a modified version of the US copyright law is one way of effectively regulating OSS, which will bridge the void between Australian law and the issues posed by OSS.

Keywords: open source software; OSS; General Public Licence; GPL; regulation; Australia; USA; United States; legal issues; copyright law.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPL.2012.045945

International Journal of Technology Policy and Law, 2012 Vol.1 No.1, pp.48 - 68

Published online: 20 Sep 2014 *

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