QUT ePrints

Legal issues for the use of free and open source software in government

Fitzgerald, Brian F. & Suzor, Nicolas P. (2005) Legal issues for the use of free and open source software in government. Melbourne University Law Review, 29(2), pp. 412-447.

View at publisher

Abstract

This article explains the notion of free and open source software (‘FOSS’) and the reasons why governments throughout the world are giving it close consideration. In particular, it highlights key legal issues facing the adoption and development of FOSS by governments. From the aspect of government procurement the article examines the models used by governments to create a level playing field for the supply of FOSS, intellectual property warranties and indemnities and the operation of the Trade Practices Act. In terms of government development of FOSS, the article considers the licensing mechanisms that will be implemented in the development and distribution of such software. In the final section, the article assesses the threat software patents and the current SCO litigation provide for FOSS. The article concludes by emphasising that governments need to be fully aware of this landscape to assess what is the most effective technology available.

Impact and interest:

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

761 since deposited on 19 Jul 2006
136 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 3620
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: free software, open source, dual licensing, gpl, copyleft, trade practices act, government, compatability, jurisdiction
ISSN: 0025-8938
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Melbourne University Law Review Association
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:15

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page