Improving the legal quality of Open Source Software
Using Free Open Source components raises legal issues that can slow down the adoption by many companies. For example, today most Free Open Source software uses licenses that are of US origin (rooted in the Common Law) and as such not adapted to the laws of most European countries, generating legal uncertainties. The general objective of this activity is to enhance the legal quality of FOSS in Europe. It aims to do so by addressing all the important legal issues identified in the development, reuse and exploitation of Open Source Software. Example of issues we may address are: existing licenses and national Laws, patents and trademarks, liability and risk evaluation and mitigation, licenses for FOSS documentation, issues related to the compatibility of licenses and more generally of rights and obligations on software components and their tracking during software development with Free Open Source components.
The main outcomes of this research activity are providing a multinational reference site for accessing accurate, qualified and neutral information about legal issues for Free Open Source, providing resources for the community to understand and address the problems of license compatibility, liabilities and risk related to using FOSS, and providing methodologies and tools to track intellectual property rights during the software development cycle.