What to Protect in Open Source Software

article from slashdot.org.

What to Protect in Open Source Software

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Wednesday November 21, @04:15PM
from the what’s-in-a-name dept.


eldavojohn writes “I found a brief blog by Marc Fleury on something that seems to almost be an oxymoron — what you need to legally protect in Open Source Software. The short of it is that you should trademark your name and brand it. Which might explain Xen’s stance on the use of the brand ‘Xen’. Another short blog notes that you should also maintain control of your distribution channels. Fleury also states this interesting tidbit on protecting intellectual property in OSS, ‘Short of filing patents, there isn’t much you can do in OSS. Let’s face it the IP is there for everyone to see. If you are in a mode where a lot of the value is the code itself then open sourcing under GPL or equivalent reciprocal license may be a good choice for you. At least you will make sure that ISV’s that re-use your license get in contact with you and many of them will pursue dual-licensing, a strategy that is known to work to monetize an OSS user base (mySQL).’ Is there anything else you should take measures to protect in open source software? Is it possible to maintain control of a project under the GPL or are you constantly faced with forks?”

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