Most-read coverage in 2018: Legal issues and the open source community

Most-read coverage in 2018: Legal issues and the open source community

Get up to date with these 5 articles, from GDPR to licensing.

A gavel.
Image by : 
Beth Cortez-Neavel on Flickr. Public Domain. Modified by

Subscribe now

Get the highlights in your inbox every week.

In 2018, again tackled the intersection of open source and the law, with the most-read articles addressing topics from privacy to patents.

One of the most impactful legal changes in 2018 was the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so it's not surprising that many readers were interested in how the new law will affect open source communities.

As in previous years, open source licensing was a popular topic. One well-read article focused on recent court cases that helped shed light on what remedies exist for breaches of the General Public License (GPL). Another article explored whether the MIT License has a "real" patent license.

Since not all of our readers are lawyers, several articles aim to help open source contributors address legal concerns. For example, one article educates readers on meeting the legal challenges that may arise from distributing software through container images. Another helps open source contributors choose between a Contributor License Agreement and a Developer Certificate of Origin by explaining the difference between the two.

Top open source legal articles in 2018

EU flag

Many organizations are scrambling to understand how changes in privacy laws will impact their work.
a magnifying glass looking at a brain illustration

Conventional wisdom says the Apache License has a "real" patent license. But what about the MIT License?
A diagram of a branching process

The implications of distributing software through container images are quite different from those of the package managers many people are familiar with.
patent illustration

These recent court cases shed some light on the matter.
A diagram of a branching process

Both show that a contributor is allowed to make a contribution and that the project has the right to distribute it. But which one is better?

About the author

David Perry - At Red Hat, David is responsible for managing the company's on-going defense in patent litigation, including evaluating and addressing threatened patent assertions. He is also responsible for advising Red Hat's leadership regarding its financial exposure from patent assertions. David also assists the intellectual property practice group with a range of patent issues, including answering patent inquiries, reviewing patent acquisition opportunities, analyzing the defensive capabilities of Red Hat...