Public Domain is often a misunderstood concept and Free/Open Source Software is incorrectly viewed as being in the Public Domain. Eventhough Open Source Software is free, it is still subject to copyright protections and therefore, is not in the Public Domain. John discusses what Public Domain is and its impact on IP rights and licensing.
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- [Voiceover] One of the biggest misconceptions…about Open Source Software is because it's free…and freely available…is that it's part of the Public Domain.…Nothing can be further than the truth.…Public domain as to some creative work…means that its intellectual property protections have lapsed…whether they've expired…or cannot be ascertainable,…and that means that in order…to use something in the public domain,…well we're free to do so…because there is no need for a license…because there are no intellectual property rights anymore.…
And it has nothing to do with whether something is free.…Examples of creative works…that have lapsed in the public domain…or things like the works of William Shakespeare, Beethoven,…and of course any works by the government…because anything that the government produces…by law is excluded from copyright law.…Now if you recall from our earlier discussion on copyrights,…when they're created,…a copyright attaches immediately upon creation.…When something is committed to…some medium, some tangible medium that…
This is not a coding course. Rather, it's an exploration of the legal and business aspects of open-source software licensing—including topics such as contributor agreements and patent licenses. The major open-source licenses (GPL, MIT, and Apache) are covered in depth, and John also provides an overview of establishing a business entity for your software project: a key factor in the ongoing success of many open-source communities.
- What is a license?
- What is a software license?
- Understanding the principles of open source
- Exploring the three basic licenses: GPL, MIT, and Apache
- Choosing the right open-source license
- Working with Creative Commons
- Dual licensing
- Granting contributor license agreements
- Establishing a legal business entity for your development project