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Article

Open source: the Russian experience (legislation and practice)

The emergence of so-called “free” or “open source” software and the growth of its economic importance in various industries makes questions regarding the legal status of free/open source licenses especially important. In December 2010 new draft amendments to the Russia’s Civil Code were published, introducing new concepts in order to reflect the ideas pursued by these types of licenses. This article analyzes existing problems with the legal status of free/open source licenses, whether proposed amendments may solve them, and what risks they may create. Since Russia is among the first countries trying to include provisions on free/open source licenses in its legislation, such analysis may be of interest to foreign lawmakers since the concept of open source is universal all over the world.