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REVIEW: "Intellectual Property and Open Source", Van Lindberg

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKIPOPSO.RVW 20081128 Intellectual Property and Open Source , Van Lindberg, 2008, 978-0-596-51796-0, U$34.99/C$34.99 %A Van Lindberg %C 103 Morris
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5 10:22 AM
      BKIPOPSO.RVW 20081128

      "Intellectual Property and Open Source", Van Lindberg, 2008,
      978-0-596-51796-0, U$34.99/C$34.99
      %A Van Lindberg
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2008
      %G 978-0-596-51796-0 0-596-51796-3
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$34.99/C$34.99 800-998-9938 707-829-0515 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596517963/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596517963/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i Tech 2 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 371 p.
      %T "Intellectual Property and Open Source"

      The preface states that this book provides documentation for the legal
      system, obviously intending that it be addressed to a technical
      audience, explaining to them what the legal operations are (as related
      to intellectual property, or IP).

      Chapter one outlines the legal categories of IP (patent, copyright,
      trademark, and trade secret), as well as reviewing general economic
      theory, and the philosophy of knowledge as a type of material "good."
      Patent documents are explained, in chapter two, in terms of file
      formats. The important concepts of invention (as claim) versus
      embodiment, conception versus reduction to practice, and first to file
      as opposed to first to invent are also defined. What is, and isn't,
      patentable is covered in chapter three. The details, requirements,
      and limits of copyright are in chapter four. Chapter five points out
      that trademark has value not only for the company, but also for the
      customer. The discussion of trade secret, in chapter six, notes the
      factors involved in the utility of a trade secret. This chapter also
      examines some issues of open source software for the first time, since
      the preceding material is fairly generic.

      Chapter seven looks at contracts and licences, a number of issues of
      which are important to open source. Using an interesting (and useful)
      analogy of the difference between banks and credit unions, chapter
      eight notes the economic and legal basis for open source software, and
      why (and where) it works. (The licencing discussion is also extended
      here.) The factors involved in ownership of intellectual property
      (whether on the part of the individual, company, or work-for-hire) are
      examined in chapter nine. Chapter ten notes terms, and provides
      examples, of open source licences. Some very interesting implications
      of accepting code patches are noted in chapter eleven. Chapter twelve
      extends chapter ten's content, specific to the General Public License
      (GPL). Chapter thirteen briefly looks at the process of reverse
      engineering, but is primarily concerned with the legality of the
      operation. The establishment of non-profit organizations, and
      particularly in relation to the benefit for open source projects, is
      outlined in chapter fourteen.

      Appendices provide various samples of legal documents.

      The writing is articulate, and the material reasonably comprehensive.
      The organization leaves a little bit to be desired. The book is
      almost two books; one on IP and one on open source; and it's not clear
      why chapters seven, ten, and twelve are distinct (and separated).
      However, this is a valuable guide for anyone in the technical world
      who wishes to know about legal issues of intellectual property, and
      particularly for anyone in, or contemplating, an open source project.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKIPOPSO.RVW 20081128

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who
      understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what
      they do not understand. - Putt's Law
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