As we continue to see the growth of technology at the forefront of business and society it is important that lawyers understand the ever changing technology world in order to ensure that the profession remains up-to-date. One such area that many lawyers have heard about is Open-Source Software (“OSS”). According to the website freesoftwaremagazine.com, the adoption of OSS results in savings of over $60 billion per year for businesses. Furthermore, the Gartner Group estimates that 85% of companies surveyed are currently using OSS. This highlights the significance of the OSS industry, which has reached a level where professionals such as lawyers should take time to understand what is meant by OSS, given that there are increasing in legal matters arising from the use and development of OSS.
This article is aimed at providing lawyers with a high-level overview of OSS which will include legal analysis as well as indicating commercial implications for OSS. Having read this article lawyers, in particular those working in-house, will be better able to contribute to OSS discussions, whether through developing a particular policy and procedure on OSS or within contract negotiations…
This article is available within the Commercial Law Practitioner Journal which can be found within the following website: http://www.westlaw.ie/whatis.html