(2013) 10:2 SCRIPTed 140–306

Issue DOI: 10.2966/scrip.100213

Cover image

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  • Copyright Management for Open Collaborative Projects –Inbound Licensing Models for Open Innovation
    Catharina Maracke, pp.140-148
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    Introduction to the special section on open collaborative projects.

Dedicated Section on Open Collaborative Projects

  • Drafting Options for Contributor Agreements for Free and Open Source Software: Assignment, (Non)Exclusive Licence and Legal Consequences. A Comparative Analysis of German and US Law 
    Tim Engelhardt, pp.149-176
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    Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has become so widespread that it is now used in virtually every type of device and is distributed in almost every market. Scores of FOSS projects offer their software and try to attract contributors and users. In this context, a key question that has become increasingly relevant is whether FOSS projects need to legally formalise the contribution process by using Contributor License Agreements or Contributor Assignment Agreements, and if so, how such agreements should be drafted. This paper focusses on three general drafting options – assignments, exclusive or non-exclusive licenses – and analyses each of these options’ advantages and pitfalls. Given the global nature of FOSS, the paper adopts an international perspective by exploring two model jurisdictions that represent two contrasting legal systems and traditions: Germany, the drafter’s home country, with its typical continental-European legal approach; and the United States of America, a common law jurisdiction and globally the leading software-developing country.
  • Internationalisation of FOSS Contributory Copyright Assignments and Licenses: Jurisdiction-Specific or “Unported”?
    Axel Metzger
    , pp.177-206
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    Some of the major Free and Open Source (FOSS) projects use contributory copyright assignments and licenses to clarify the owner­ship of developer’s contributions and to allow the project to grant sublicenses and enforce copyright claims in case of license violations. The paper gives an overview of typical provisions of these agreements and provides an analysis of the private international law principles applicable in Europe, United States, and Japan. As a conclusion, the paper suggests an internationalisation strategy for FOSS projects. FOSS copyright assignments and licenses should implement choice-of-law clauses to foster legal certainty for projects.
  • Comparative Analysis of copyright assignment and licence formalities for Open Source Contributor Agreements
    Andres Guadamuz and Andrew Rens, pp.207-230
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    This article discusses formal requirements in open source software contributor copyright assignment and licensing agreements. Contributor agreements are contracts by which software developers transfer or license their work on behalf of an open source project. This is done for convenience and enforcement purposes, and usually takes the form of a formal contract. This work conducts a comparative analysis of how several jurisdicitons regard those agreements. We specifically look at the formal requirements across those countries to ascertain whether formalities are constitutive or probative. We then look at the consequences of the lack of formalities for the validity of those contributor agreements.

Reviewed Articles

  • Governance, Social Media and The Cybercitizen – Always in Motion is the Future
    Andrew Power, pp.231-245
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    This article considers the emerging technologies known as Web 2.0 and how changing technologies may change the way we think about governance. In the last thirty years digital computing has had a transformational effect on the way governments view the world. The use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by governments has led to a more quantitative approach to solving problems; seen in the emergence of new public management and managerialism in public administration. This article uses a theoretical framework, built on the phenomenology of tools and governance through choice, to argue that recent developments in the technologies generally referred to as Web 2.0, and social networking in particular, are leading to governments using technology in different and more interactive ways. The author concludes that these developments will broaden the impact of technology on governance, produce a more qualitative approach and empower the interconnected citizen.


  • The European Unified Patent Court: Assessment and Implications of the Federalisation of the Patent System in Europe
    Dimitris Xenos, pp.246-277
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    The push for the creation of a European Unified Patent Court (UPC) aims to achieve the federalisation of the patent system in Europe. By replacing the jurisdiction of national courts in the legal disputes relating to patents with unitary effect, the UPC will create a new centralised judicial authority for patent litigation and standard-setting. However, there is evidence that the UPC Agreement was rushed and its impact assessment was not based on valid data. Therefore, questions are raised about the implications it may have, especially those regarding language arrangements in the litigation proceedings and the impact which may arise from the loss of national sovereignty, as national judges will no longer be able to adjust patentability standards to the development and sustainability needs of local businesses. This article examines the impact of the loss of national sovereignty and argues that, to the extent that the UPC establishes a monopolistic source of legal power which escapes the control of the democratic policy-making process, its authority is problematic. Additionally, the findings of relevant studies are analysed in order to evaluate the original arguments of the EU Commission, and to go beyond the narrow context within which the debate on the UPC has been framed.
  • Football Dataco v Sportradar: Second half and home field for database makers
    Perttu Virtanen, pp.278-287
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    The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling in Football Dataco Ltd v Sportradar GmbH and Others on the jurisdiction of the Courts on matters concerning the sui generis database protection.  The previous Dataco case concerning copyright protection of databases, had been decided by the Court of Justice  in the same year, however in this instance  the solution focused essentially  on the Court’s jurisdiction  in  the online environment which pivoted on the question of where the claimed extraction or re-utilization was deemed to occur.


  • 9th International Conference on Internet, Law and Politics (IDP 2013). Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities. Report
    Mariona Rosell Llorens, pp.288-295
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Book Reviews

  • Copyright and Mass Digitization 
    By Maurizio Borghi and Stavroula Karapapa
    Reviewed by Giulia Dore
    , pp.296-300
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  • Regulation And The Performance Of Communication And Information Networks 
    By Gerald R Faulhaber, Gary Madden and Jeffrey Petchey (eds)
    Reviewed by David Stewart
    | HTML | PDF |
  • Enforcement Of Intellectual Property Rights Through Border Measures: Law And Practice In The EU
    By Olivier Vrins and Marius Schneider (eds)
    Reviewed by Riccardo Sciaudone
    , pp.304-306
    | HTML | PDF |