NZ looks at open source software's legal implications

The State Services Commission in New Zealand has put up a briefing this month (OK, last month, but with the International Date Line, who knows) about Open Source Legal Issues. The policy paper is well thought out, if lacking a bit in depth, but covers such things as the key differences between "really free" software (MIT and MSD licenses and their ilk) and "free software foundation" free software (GPL, etc). In particular, issues of required disclosure of algorithms, distribution rights, etc.

Contrary to many comments on slashdot, the paper is reasonably well balanced and indicates that using stand-alone open source applications is fine, but that development projects should take great care when using open source to make sure that they comply with the licenses and don't infringe on any intellectual property rights.