Open Source Under The Lens Of An Intellectual Property Lawyer

Jen Wike | | September 12, 2013

Have you ever wondered what, from a business perspective, the world of sharing, free, and open source looks like to a lawyer?

Challenging! Chaotic? Creative.

Pam Chestek is an intellectual property lawyer. She runs Chestek Legal, a practice that focuses on giving practical, legal advice on branding, marketing, and protecting and sharing content. In this interview she shares with me what caused her to challenge traditional wisdom back in law school, the kind of chaos involved in analyzing free and open source software through the lens of the law, and how creativity is at the heart of it all. 

Where did your path begin veering towards the unique needs of open source communities and copyright law?

Looking back, it started in law school. We are taught that the Patent and Copyright Clause of the Constitution is based on a quid pro quo, that people won't create without the incentive of compensation, which is why Congress may provide a period of exclusivity for patents and copyrights. [...]