Open Source Software's Legal Issues Addressed

Morris, Manning & Martin Launches Open Source Group and Blog

Nov 23, 2004, 00:00 ET from Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

    ATLANTA, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Open Source software has become a
 legitimate alternative to proprietary software for businesses. In response to
 this, law firm Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, has formed a new legal group to
 help businesses address Open Source issues.
     The Chair of the new Open Source Group, Paul Arne, has also created a Web
 log, or blog, to provide resources and a forum for discussion for business and
 legal issues surrounding Open Source Software. The blog can be found
 at .
     Many of America's largest companies use Open Source software and
 participate in Open Source development projects. New businesses have grown up
 to provide support, maintenance, consulting and training. Open Source software
 developments can produce robust software.
     Many software developers view Open Source as a godsend, says Arne. "Open
 Source is easy to find, easy to evaluate, and easy to incorporate into an
 existing development project," Arne says.
     But as with any type of business, unexpected issues may arise.
     "Because Open Source software is developed in a non-traditional way,
 special issues should be considered," Arne adds. For example, businesses that
 modify Open Source code for internal use may be surprised that seemingly
 innocuous actions may initiate distribution requirements, which could force
 them to give away their customized software for free, or at a modest cost, to
 their competitors.
     "Because Open Source is developed using a decidedly different business
 model, it's not surprising that businesses need to treat it differently in
 important ways," Arne says. He adds that one function of the group is to help
 businesses establish procedures for the use of Open Source.
     Morris, Manning & Martin's Open Source Group includes attorneys who
 specialize in business licensing, intellectual property, patent, trademark,
 litigation, copyright and other legal disciplines. The result is a complete
 legal solution for end users, companies developing products to sell on a
 proprietary basis and those who simply participate in the open source
     For more information about Morris, Manning & Martin's Open Source Group,
 visit the firm's Web page at , the blog
 at or call 404-504-7784.
     Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, ( ) enjoys national
 prominence for its corporate finance, securities, litigation, technology,
 telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, environmental and real estate
 practices. Since 1999, the firm has represented clients in 20 IPOs worth more
 than $7 billion and in over 125 mergers and acquisitions worth more than
 $23 billion.  Morris, Manning & Martin has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte and
 Washington, D.C.

SOURCE Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP