Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

'Copyleft' reconsidered: why software licensing jurisprudence needs insights from relational contract theory

Zhu, Chenwei (2013) 'Copyleft' reconsidered: why software licensing jurisprudence needs insights from relational contract theory. Social and Legal Studies, 22 (3). pp. 289-308. ISSN 0964-6639

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1177/0964663912473015

Abstract

This article calls for a re-examination, from a Relational Contract Theory perspective, of the 'copyleft' agreement, which mandates the source code of publicly released software to be perpetually shared with the public. It deals with standard-form copyleft licences such as the GNU General Public Licence, whose legal enforceability has often been a subject of debate. From the viewpoint of classical contract law, these licences would lack affirmatively expressed consent from the licensees and would thus be unlikely to be legally binding. There are two alternatives to this classical contractual view. The first is the neoclassical contract approach as represented in Easterbrook's ruling in ProCD v Zeidenberg, which attempts to re-engineer the legitimisation of standard-form information product licensing schemes with the goal of maximising individual utility gains. The second alternative is a (Ian) Macneilian relational approach, which is endorsed by this article but has remained conspicuously absent from the existing legal literature.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://sls.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Sets: Departments > Law
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 10:36
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 05:05
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/52613

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item