Robert W. Gomulkiewicz, De-Bugging Open Source Software Licensing, 64 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 75 (2002), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/684
hackers, free software, open source, license
Home computer users and businesses often rely on software developed by unconventional programmers known as "hackers." Hackers claim that the code they develop is superior in quality to the code developed by commercial software firms because hackers freely share the code they develop. This code sharing enables a multitude of programmers from around the world to rapidly find and fix bugs. The legal mechanism that enables hackers to deploy this worldwide team of de-buggers is a license agreement or, to be more precise,an assortment of license agreements known as "open source" licenses.
The key to successfully de-bugging open source licensing is setting up a better process for creating and updating open source licenses. This article outlines one such process. This article begins by describing the array of open source licenses. It then explains the significant shortcomings in these licenses.The article concludes by proposing that a standards organization assume responsibility for improving important open source license forms and licensing practices.