Software developed using open source development techniques - including the increasingly ubiquitous Linux operating system - has spread pervasively and is now found in the computer systems of most major business enterprises around the world. Unlike proprietary software, where the seller typically owns all intellectual property rights and indemnifies purchasers against third party claims, programs developed via open source often have multiple unaffiliated contributors and offer very little in the way of intellectual property protection from the licensor.
These programs are also often accompanied by licenses that can, if managed inappropriately, attach to otherwise proprietary software found inside an enterprise. The open source development model is also spawning new ways of thinking about software development and creating challenges for proprietary software and hardware vendors.
Anyone responsible for software, hardware, intellectual property and intangible infrastructure in any business enterprise would benefit from this program, including inside and outside counsel and business personnel addressing these issues. Legal scholars will analyze the issues, industry insiders will report on the status of current and future trends in open source distribution, and practicing attorneys in the field will give practical advice on how to address the emerging legal issues.