Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide to Protecting Code (Paperback)

Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide to Protecting Code By Van Lindberg Cover Image

Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide to Protecting Code (Paperback)


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"Clear, correct, and deep, this is a welcome addition to discussions of law and computing for anyone -- even lawyers " -- Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

If you work in information technology, intellectual property is central to your job -- but dealing with the complexities of the legal system can be mind-boggling. This book is for anyone who wants to understand how the legal system deals with intellectual property rights for code and other content. You'll get a clear look at intellectual property issues from a developer's point of view, including practical advice about situations you're likely to encounter.

Written by an intellectual property attorney who is also a programmer, Intellectual Property and Open Source helps you understand patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and licenses, with special focus on the issues surrounding open source development and the GPL. This book answers questions such as:

  • How do open source and intellectual property work together?
  • What are the most important intellectual property-related issues when starting a business or open source project?
  • How should you handle copyright, licensing and other issues when accepting a patch from another developer?
  • How can you pursue your own ideas while working for someone else?
  • What parts of a patent should be reviewed to see if it applies to your work?
  • When is your idea a trade secret?
  • How can you reverse engineer a product without getting into trouble?
  • What should you think about when choosing an open source license for your project?

Most legal sources are too scattered, too arcane, and too hard to read. Intellectual Property and Open Source is a friendly, easy-to-follow overview of the law that programmers, system administrators, graphic designers, and many others will find essential.

The title that best describes Van Lindberg's job is "translator" - translating from "lawyer" to "engineer" and back. He enjoys working with both computer code and legal code to get things done.As an attorney, Van helps people build businesses around ideas. His experience allows him to analyze and evaluate intellectual property in a sale, license or litigation context. Van also participates in the Open Source community. He helps businesses work with and develop Open Source software and helps developers navigate the legal system to achieve project goals. He has direct experience in digital circuit design; operating system design; application programming; networked and distributed systems; virtualization; wireless networking; high-availability systems and programming languages.Outside of the traditional IP areas, Van is particularly interested in the Open Source licensing model. He has been involved (mostly as a user, but with occasional contributions) in the Open Source community since 1994. Van's favorite computer language is Python.
Product Details ISBN: 9780596517960
ISBN-10: 0596517963
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Publication Date: August 19th, 2008
Pages: 384
Language: English