December 01, 2019 Feature

Why Open Source Licenses with a Commons Clause May Become Less Common

Nicholas D. Petrella and Stephen E. Kabakoff

©2019. Published in Landslide, Vol. 12, No. 2, November/December 2019, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Open source software is founded on the principle that it should be made freely available for anyone to use, distribute, or improve. Promotors of open source ideals believe that freely available source code will encourage more extensive distribution and use of the code, spurring further innovations and improvements. Given the complexities of today’s software applications, and typical modular or object-based designs, open source software provides significant efficiencies to developers who can focus their efforts on core products and technologies without reinventing the wheel for certain enabling or peripheral code.

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