FLOSS and Intelectual Property: Legal Aspects, Licenses, and Business Models (in Brazilian Portuguese)

Fabio Kon, Nelson Lago, Paulo Meirelles, and Vanessa Sabino
JAI/SBC, 2011

Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) has increasingly been shown to be a viable alternative for the production, distribution, and usage of quality software in several academic, cientific, business, government, and commercial environments. Nonetheless, business and contract models traditionally used in the contemporary society are not perfectly suited for the typical mechanisms by which free software is produced, distributed, and used. This chapter discusses how specific characteristics of FLOSS affect its usage by individuals, companies, and governments and, in particular, it focuses on how these characteristics affect business models within the software industry. The chapter presents a short historical perspective and description of the movement's dynamics and describes some of the major FLOSS licences and their consequences. It discusses the opportunities and difficulties on the interaction with the community, and the major business models associated with FLOSS, with examples of successful approaches.