International Free and Open Source Software Law Review

July 15, 2009

A new legal journal which aims to bring the highest standards to bear in analysis and comment on all aspects of Free and Open Source software was launched on 15 July. The ‘International Free and Open Source Software Law Review’ (IFOSSLR) is a peer reviewed biannual journal for high-level analysis and debate about Free and Open Source Software legal issues and is published by an independent Editorial Committee. 


Free and Open Source Software has increasingly come to challenge traditional concepts of intellectual property and collaboration by allowing every user to use, study, share and improve code, facilitating the creation of elegant and effective software that now lies at the heart of the mainstream technology industry.  IFOSSLR aims to foster increased understanding and promote best practice for all parties engaging with this approach to licensing.


A number of prominent SCL members are involved with the new journal, including Amanda Brock, Andrew Katz and Iain Mitchell QC


Welcoming this initiative, Karen Copenhaver, Partner Choate Hall & Stewart LLP and counsel to the Linux Foundation commented: “There are many reasons why The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review will be warmly received in legal circles, in the free and open source community and in the wider software industry.  For many years the focus in the legal community has been on raising questions about free and open source software licenses and development models.  With this journal we have turned the page and begun to focus on the answers.  It is rewarding to see lawyers adopting collaborative models to share knowledge and work product, arrive at common understandings, and further the development of the necessary legal ecosystem around free and open source software.  It is also significant that this international journal reflects the global community that has formed around these models.  My congratulations and thanks go to the editorial board that worked so well together to create this valuable resource.”


Expanding on this theme, Keith Bergelt, chief executive officer of the Open Invention Network, said “the intersection of open source and the law yields unique opportunities for new insights to be drawn and leadership to be exhibited as we move inexorably toward an era of unrivaled collaborative development.   It is only fitting that this journal focus on Legal issues in open source that relate to patents and beyond as we need a forum to discuss and debate critical legal issues so that the full benefit of open source as a modality of invention and innovation can be realized.”


IFOSSLR will be available printed and online under a licence allowing it to be freely reproduced by individuals and organisations, commercial and non-commercial alike, provided that the content and authorship of the articles is respected.


The first issue is now available on the Internet to be read and downloaded without charge at  Paper copies can also be ordered via the website.