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The Free Software Way, by Richard Fontana, Esq.

Jan 27, 2010, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"Red Hat has a new website, opensource.com, where they intend to explore how open source affects more than just software, and they're publishing articles on open source in education, business, law, and government. And life. It's designed to be a community forum, one way to give back to the community, as expressed by Red Hat's CEO Jim Whitehurst in his welcoming article, and they hope you'll join in the conversation.

"I thought I'd introduce you to the website's rich content by posting an article from the Law section. It's by Richard Fontana, who is Red Hat's Open Source Licensing and Patent Counsel, and I know him and trust him from being on the committee that he chaired in the revision of GPLv3. I can republish his article, because it's under a Creative Commons license, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which means you are free to republish it and share it with others under those terms as well. I think you'll want to, because he explains very clearly the legal rights that are implied by free, not just open source, software, and its extension to other areas, and why open source, while necessary, is not enough.

"The free software way
~ by Richard Fontana

"On opensource.com you may often encounter references to "the open source way". My colleagues at Red Hat who use this phrase are, I think, looking at the most iconic, mature and commercially significant examples of the development model that is, today, closely associated with open source software, and are distilling certain general principles or values from such examples. Many active contributors to opensource.com are particularly interested in exploring how these same values are being applied in domains far removed from software development. Chief among these "open source way" values are transparency, community, and meritocracy."

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