[PAST EVENT] Colloquium: The software engineer meets the lawyer: The Legal Challenges of Software Reuse

Friday, September 23rd 2011
3pm - 4:15pm
McGlothlin-Street Hall, Room 020
251 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Daniel M. German, Univ. of Victoria

Software is protected by copyright law in a similar way in which music and literature are. Until recently this was an issue that concerned few. The advent of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) changed this.
Full Description
In this talk I'll describe our recent work regarding software licensing, in particular in three directions:

- The problem of "license mismatch": when two or more FOSS components
are used in a system, and the licenses of these components have conditions that cannot be simultaneously satisfied. FOSS developers have found what appear to be legal workarounds to solve this problem, and we document them in a system of patterns that I'll describe.

- The problem of provenance discovery in FOSS: when a fragment of code that is copied from one application to another: the challenges of detecting such copies, and the legal ramifications of doing so.

- The problem of license compliance and auditing: how to determine if a software system is satisfying all the legal constraints imposed by the components it reuses. This includes determining the provenance of components, their license and their interrelations.

This work is done in conjunction with Ahmed Hassan (Queens Univ., Canada), Max Di Penta (Univ of Sannio, Italy), Giulio Antoniol, Yann Gu'hneuc (E. Polytechnique of Montreal, Canada),
Dr. Katsuro Inoue and Yuki Manage (Osaka University, Japan) Mike
Godfrey (University of Waterloo) and Julius Davis (University of British Columbia).
Contact
Department of Computer Science
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