The Free Technology Academy is closed. To know why, and what may come next, please read here. To find and download FTA resources not listed in these pages, instead, please visit the Free Technology Academy File Archive! Thanks!

Book: Legal Aspects of the Information Society

  • Author: Malcolm Bain
  • Contributions: Manuel Gallego, Manuel Martínez Ribas, Judit Rius
  • Licenses: GNU Free Documentation License
  • Information: 301 Pages; 2.5 Mb
This book contains fundamental information for those who want to understand Free Software and how to contribute and benefit from it in a safe and legal way. Concepts like existing legal systems of software protection - copyright, patents, trademark and key concepts like Copyleft and free licenses - will provide a general background upon which practical skills for different contexts can be built.

This material aims to provide the knowledge and tools that are needed to assess the possible legal issues that can arise in a Free Technology environment. It will provide the reader with the information needed to answer to common questions and doubts, and to take the right decisions from a legal perspective.

Book cover

Evolution of this book

The FTA has reused existing course materials from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). The first version of this course book was published in 2004 for the Master Programme in Free software of the UOC.
In 2009, this material has been improved by the Free Technology Academy. Additionally the FTA has developed a study guide and learning activities which are available for learners enrolled in the FTA Campus.

Feedback and comments

Keeping course books up-to-date and improving them can be a time-consuming effort. Users of FTA learning materials are encouraged to provide feedback and make suggestions for improvement. We are currently testing the "annotation tool" which allows you to highlight any part of the PDF document and add your comments. You can register freely and then get to the course book of Legal Aspects. Your comments and contributions are more than welcome. These inputs will be taken into account for next versions.

Moreover, the FTA welcomes anyone to use and distribute this material as well as to make new versions and translations.