There was a seminar yesterday on open source and the law hosted by JBoss. Panelists included Larry Rosen, David Byer, and Jim Harvey, and the upshot of it all was their conclusion that a lot of the worries about using open source can be alleviated by educating folks on licenses and how they work. Groklaw was mentioned by one panelist:
"SCO's open-source prosecutions also mark a new kind of litigation, one that involves a community of defendants who use the Web as a tool for real-time communication, says David Byer, a partner with Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault LLP's patent and intellectual-property practice group. Their most prominent tool is Groklaw.net, a Web site and blog created by paralegal Pamela Jones with the help of volunteers who post immediate responses to any new developments in SCO's various cases.
"'It's an extraordinary thing to watch, to have evidence provided within minutes of arguments being brought in court,' Byer says. 'This type of response will be with us for a long time.'"
I'll let you know when the seminar is available. Rosen said about patents, "The risks of patent infringement are almost equal for both proprietary and open-source software. Open-source-related lawsuits are just not as prevalent as they seem."
All of the lawyers on Wednesday's panel agreed "that SCO's strategy of keeping its action in the spotlight have helped advance education about open source."