A bundle of software rights and duties

Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):185-197 (2011)

Authors
David M. Douglas
University of Queensland (PhD)
Abstract
Like the ownership of physical property, the issues computer software ownership raises can be understood as concerns over how various rights and duties over software are shared between owners and users. The powers of software owners are defined in software licenses, the legal agreements defining what users can and cannot do with a particular program. To help clarify how these licenses permit and restrict users’ actions, here I present a conceptual framework of software rights and duties that is inspired by the terms of various proprietary, open source, and free software licenses. To clarify the relationships defined by these rights and duties, this framework distinguishes between software creators (the original developer), custodians (those who can control its use), and users (those who utilise the software). I define the various rights and duties that can be shared between these parties and how these rights and duties relate to each other. I conclude with a brief example of how this framework can be used by defining the concepts of free software and copyleft in terms of rights and duties
Keywords Duties  Rights  Software licenses  Software ownership  Users  Free software  Copyleft
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10676-010-9229-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,238
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Justifying Intellectual Property.Edwin C. Hettinger - 1989 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (1):31-52.
A Theory of Property.John Christman - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):936-938.
A Theory of Property.Jeremy Waldron - 1992 - Ethics 102 (2):401-403.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-06-09

Total views
75 ( #116,593 of 2,285,777 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #250,848 of 2,285,777 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature