All developers will be familiar with Open Source Software (OSS) and how convenient it is, but they may not be as familiar with the legal requirements associated with the varying associated licences out there.
Rayyan Mughal, a commercial contract lawyer at the FBCC member Marks & Clerk talks more about this topic in his latest article featured on VR/AR Pioneers.
OSS licences fall into effectively two groups; permissive and ‘copyleft’.
Permissive licences are those which allow developers to build the OSS into their own code without any commercial restrictions.
Copyleft licences, on the other hand, are generally much more restrictive and often require developers using this kind of OSS to ensure their derivative work is also made open source.
This obligation to make new code open source can deny developers access to a key form of protection in the form of confidential information and trade secrets.
There are varying intellectual property rights which cover the work done by developers and businesses working within the VR/AR space. Rayyan Mughal concentrates on copyright. Copyright seeks to protect the tangible form of expression of ideas and not the ideas themselves.
The important point to note for developers and/or businesses is that when using OSS they should ensure they are fully aware of the licence terms associated with the OSS they are using. The fall-out from not doing this is that the licence terms of the OSS could potentially preclude them from categorising the source code, for example.
What if a business is contracting a third party to create something for them in this area, though?
Read the full article at VR/AR Pioneers.