Title

The road of computer code: politico-economic dimensions of copyleft and legal analysis of the General Public License

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Cunningham, R 2007, 'The road of computer code: politico-economic dimensions of copyleft and legal analysis of the General Public License', in K St Amant & B Still (eds), Handbook of research on open source software : technological, economic, and social perspectives, Information Science Reference, Hershey, PA, pp. 348-362. ISBN: 9781591409991

Abstract

This chapter examines the development of open source computer software with specific reference to the political economy of copyleft and the legalities associated with General Public License (GPL). It will be seen that within the context of computer software development the notion of copyleft provides an important contrast to more traditional uses of copyright. This contrast symbolizes political economic, and social struggles which are contextualized within this chapter. As the GPL is an important legal embodiment of copyleft, its legalities are preliminarily explored so as to determine its future potential. While there is some scope to futher refine the legal strength of the GPL, it will be seen that it remains a strong and subversive legal instrument which will continue to underlie open source initiatives in the years to come.

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