Open Source Licensing: “GPLv3 + Attribution” listed within the top ten FLOSS legal issues

Mark Radcliffe, General Counsel of the Open Source Initiative and personally involved with the reviewing the GPLv3 draft, recently wrote a post about 2007 Top Ten Free and Open Source Legal Issues.

TruthDoes it take two to speak the truth? by TW Collins

Radcliffe, probably one of the most influential attorney of the open source scene, in his list of the top ten FOSS legal developments in 2007 wrote:

9. New License Options. Two of the most controversial issues in FOSS licensing, network use and attribution, were addressed in new licenses adopted this year. A “network use” provision imposes a requirement that when a program makes functions available through a computer network, the user may obtain the source code of the program. Essentially, it extends the trigger requiring providing a copy of the source code from “distribution” of the object code (as required under the GPLv2) to include making the functions available over a computer network. An “attribution” provision requires that certain phrases or images referring to the developing company be included in the program. This provision was very controversial on the License Discuss email list for OSI. The Free Software Foundation published the Affero General Public License in the fall which expanded the scope of the GPLv3 to include a “network use” provision. A limited form of attribution was included in the GPLv3. And OSI approved the Common Public Attribution License which included both the “network use” and “attribution” provisions.

I am not alone thinking that the debate on attribution is over now, and I guess Radcliffe is probably the (open source) attorney behind what I called SugarCRM’s original way to abide the GPL.

Want to learn more about open Source legal issues?

Matt Asay just made public Radcliffe’s abstract for the upcoming Open Source Business Conference, entitled “Implementing your Open Source Business Strategy through Your Legal Strategy“, definitely a must attend session.

, , , , , , ,