The term “Open Source” is often associated with the vibrant tech community of developers and entrepreneurs. Thanks to the popularity and the media coverage of software tech startup companies, the public usually treats “Open Source” synonymously with “Open Source Software.” Despite its apparent defiance to many aspects of intellectual property law, Open Source Software is practically a specific application of intellectual property law that it “allows recipients to use the software without restriction, examine the source code, change the software, and make further distributions of the original or modified software to other recipients.”More importantly, it also mandates that any recipients further down the stream must enjoy exactly the same freedoms. Open Source Hardware shares the same model, yet, with added complexities of the physical property.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on October 27, 2019. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Wang, Ivan, "Open Source’s New Hard Problem: Calls for Standard Licenses for Open Source Hardware" (2019). AELJ Blog. 206.