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The Software License Unveiled: How Legislation by License Controls Software Access Hardcover – June 1, 2009

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195341874 ISBN-10: 0195341872 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"This is a thorough tour of the software license. Phillips challenges conventional models and ideologies, and offers real-world examples and insights for anyone who has a stake in software distribution."
--Eric Schmidt,
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Google Inc.


"Douglas Phillips has provided us with a wide-ranging and thoughtful analysis of current problems with software licensing, and his proposed solution is clear and sensible."
--Jameson W. Doig,
Professor of Politics and Public Affairs Emeritus, Princeton University


"In Doug Phillips' skillful hands, the subject of software licensing comes alive. He has a lot of smart things to say about this novel but important legal issue -- and he says them well."
--Alan S. Blinder,
Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University


"If you're at all interested in privately made "laws", technology and its legal framework or the history of the software industry, you'll enjoy taking a gander at The Software License Unveiled."
--IPWhatsUp.com


"The Software License Unveiled is a well-written and illuminating book. Caselaw citations are listed in a Table of Cases, and the well-constructed index contains many cross-references. I recommend this book for all types of law libraries..."
--Bryan M. Carso, Coordinator of Reference & Instructional Services, Western Kentucky University Law Libraries, Bowling Green, KY, Legal Information Alert


"This book will persuade you to question the assumption that complex legislative software licenses are desirable or inevitable. Phillips writes about this technical subject with humor and ease, as someone who has been in the trenches representing software licensors and licensees for decades." -California Lawyer


"An enlightened point of view."-les Nouvelles


About the Author


Douglas E. Phillips is Vice President and General Counsel of Promontory Interfinancial Network, a company based in Arlington, Virginia, that provides technology-based services to financial institutions. He joined Promontory from the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where over two decades he was involved with some of the most significant legal issues affecting software on behalf of a variety of clients, including both licensors and licensees and ranging from startup companies to large corporations.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195341872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195341874
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.9 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,915,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Douglas E. Phillips is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Promontory Interfinancial Network, a company based in Arlington, Virginia, that provides technology-based services to financial institutions. He joined Promontory in 2006 from the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where he was involved in novel and significant legal matters, within and beyond the United States, on behalf of diverse clients ranging from startup companies to major national corporations.

Doug received his A.B. degree from Princeton University (magna cum laude) and his law degree from NYU Law, which he attended as a Root-Tilden Scholar and at which he was an editor of the law review. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Eugene A. Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Doug has written on questions about what law is and how private parties effectively create law through voluntary agreements. His latest writing project focuses on rhetoric, truth, and fallacy in the legal and political discourse that surrounds us.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mda77 on May 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book goes well beyond the shrill polemics that typically surround this subject. Indeed, it presents an "out of the box" alternative to the two traditional camps. And given the explosively increasing importance of intellectual property issues in our economy, it is a timely read. I enjoyed it a lot, despite the challenging content and emphasis on a rigorous conceptual framework that focuses economic, legal and social principles on the key issues. There is also a nice dose of historical perspective which injects not only a contextual element but also a wicked slice of humor. Neither side is spared! Enjoy...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 3xdamages on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thought-provoking tour through the thicket of licensing theory and practice. Phillips peels back the clickwrap and exposes the issues behind modern EULAs, GPL, open source, copyleft, etc. The text is both interesting and dense, and covers the field in a reader-friendly way. For anyone interested in software licensing, this should be required reading. Only problem -- after your done you might never click "Agree" again.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John R. Sommer on July 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is an interesting read for copyright lawyers as well as software professionals. Policymakers in Congress should read it too, but that doesn't seem likely. The Software License Unveiled was enjoyable because of the many interesting facts and analyses. That the book is concise (in marked contrast to most scholarly books) means it was a pleasure, rather than a drudge, to read.

The law about software copyright developed almost entirely during the life of most copyright lawyers. When I was still in college, I was typing programs on punch cards. Free "software" was limited to cards that would print out a "Snoopy" on the 18-inch wide paper we used. Much has happened since then.

The book discusses a seminal article by Bill Gates written in 1976 about hobbyists (and those were the persons using computers back then) who copied software without paying for it. One wonders how the computer industry would have developed if Bill Gates' father hadn't been a named partner at a major Seattle firm (one that I interviewed with but didn't receive an offer). One supposes that someone else would have filled the role of Microsoft.

Although we all know about the several versions of GPL (and if not, the book is a great introduction to the subject), I did not know about Richard Stallman, the inventor of "copyleft," as distinguished from "copyright." Although Stallman believes in no copyright protection, he "sold" the disks upon which the "free" software was recorded. Stallman felt this was not a violation of his principle that all software should be free--a distinction without a difference that even a lawyer can chuckle about. Beyond these interesting tidbits, the book provides a thoughtful analysis of the GPL and "copyleft.
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The Software License Unveiled: How Legislation by License Controls Software Access
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