## Disclaimer

I am not an attorney. None of this constitutes competent legal advice. None of it.

## "Open" IP

• Movement for collective creation

• Typically focused around copyright, source code

• Idea: License away individual rights

• Two flavors:

• Vanilla ala Creative Commons, Open Source
• "Viral" ala GPL

• My README.md:

## License

This work is released under the "random license".
Please see the file LICENSE in this distribution for

• My LICENSE file

Copyright © 2020 Bart Massey

This work is released under the "random license".


• Every file in my program (ideally):

/* This work is released under the "random license".


• Send "cease and desist" (C&D) letter

• Sue! But then you lose

• If defendant is found to be non-infringing, you will have wasted time and money

• If defendant is found to be infringing, you will still have wasted time and money

• Note that the attorneys on both sides win either way

• What happens when you accept contributions from others: all contributing parties collectively hold copyright on the work

• This is a mess from an IP law point of view; also, relicensing tends to be impossible

• Common alternative is "copyright assignment": contributors must assign their copyright to the organization

• This is a pain in the neck and discourages contributions, especially when the organization is a commercial entity

• What happens when parts of the software are under "incompatible" licenses?

• If the licenses disagree on their terms, the whole licensing scheme may be invalid — in fact, the work may thereby infringe one or more of the licenses

• (Note that in the absence of a valid license, no one can legally use the work.)

• What happens when parts of the software are under "compatible" licenses?

• Effectively the work contains a new synthetic license

• The most obvious case: if part of a work is GPL, but other parts are under some compatible more permissive license, the work as a whole becomes GPL