Software, copyright and the learning environment: an analysis of the IT contracts Swedish schools impose on their students and the implications for FOSS

Andrew Katz, Björn Lundell, Jonas Gamalielsson

Abstract


Free and open source software (FOSS) is commonly made available to students in schools, but the schools do not necessarily take a holistic approach to their provision of IT (including software) which takes into account the nature of FOSS. In particular, we have identified a number of contracts with which Swedish students who are provided with laptops by their schools are required to comply which set out conditions for the use of the laptops, and associated software and content. Many clauses in these contracts are legally incompatible with certain FOSS licences, or contain misconceptions about FOSS, licensing and culture. This paper explores the relationship between the contracts and FOSS licensing and culture, and suggests a number of resolutions to the contradictions and misconceptions, as well as considering related issues.


Keywords


Law; information technology; Free and Open Source Software; schools and education; further restrictions; GPL; Sweden

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