by Esther Schindler

Where Are the Legal and Intellectual Property Bodies Buried in Open Source Adoption?

Jun 02, 20081 min
IT Leadership

While I wrote earlier about open-source licensing, that’s just one of the legal issues for IT managers to deal with.

In the old days, a company could adopt a draconian attitude about everything its employees did and the software they used. (I saw one employee contract that, my lawyer explained, was written so that they’d own the copyright on any mystery novel I might write in my spare time.) Intellectual property has gotten a lot muddier since those days, both in the software that it uses that’s created and maintained by the open-source community, and when an employee modifies an open-source application and wants to contribute the bug fixes or enhancements back to the community.

In your opinion, which intellectual property issues should be top of mind for IT executives? What legal issues should be considered when using open source in the enterprise? What should be considered when allowing/encouraging employees to contribute to a project?