Copyright and Open Source Software Licensing


The open source software movement has swept the software industry by storm in recent times, challenging many pre-conceptions about existing software development and licensing models. Copyright have protected software ownership and licensing of much of the closed source software in the market but how does copyright relate to open source software licensing? This dissertation describes the past and present of legal software protection and traces the history of the open source software movement from the Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative to the current state of the industry. The various open source licences are compared and explained. The discussion concludes with a discussion on the legal enforceability of open source licences.


Science and Technology Law

Date of this Version

September 2005