Software Licensing Handbook Wiki

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a reader if I had thought about creating a digital version of the Software Licensing Handbook. He suggested the creation of a database based on the book, using the sections as the key articles. I really liked the idea, but struggled with a way to make it interesting and useful not only to those of you who don’t have the book, but also valuable to those that do. In essence, I wanted to add additional value to the book, not replace it.

Continuing to think about it, I came to realize that a semi-static wiki was perhaps the best way to electronically “publish” access to the bulk of the content of the book (some sections are harder to translate to a database/digital form). I’ve created the wiki with pages for each term, categorized the terms and I’ve limited the reader to a read-only view (with the ability to add comments, but not edit the main article itself).

My goal here would ultimately be to license access to the wiki – the main article would remain as it is/was in the book… but readers could add information/suggestions that are perhaps industry-specific, or country/region specific (as I would love to hear what other countries laws do to US-style software licenses).

I want to do this efficiently and effectively. So I’m looking for some folks who would be willing to serve as beta testers. I’ll provide you access for a beta period where you can play and explore, and even add comments. In sum, you’d have “full” reader access during the beta period. If you don’t already own a copy of the Software Licensing Handbook, this would also provide you with a serious review opportunity of the content of that guide.

I’m thinking that 10 people (and I would prefer them to be scattered throughout the world, as I see I have readers in just about every country) would give me some good feedback. I make no promises on duration or future accessibility… this is merely an indeterminate beta trial period.

Any takers? Please e-mail your name and e-mail address to me (the wiki is password protected and I will need to give you the URL, too). I would like to know where you’re from geographically and what you can contribute in terms of feedback, beyond just the ability to look at the wiki. For example: are you a lawyer in Germany? a contract negotiator in Spain? a paralegal in Australia? are you an author? a student? an internet god?

I look forward to hearing from you!

2 thoughts on “Software Licensing Handbook Wiki

  1. Venkatesan L

    Dear Dr. Gordon,My name is venkatesan from India. I have few clarifications with respect to withdrawn or old version software. Please reply to me at the earliest.If any software product is withdrawn by company then how to obtain the end user license fo rthe same. Can we call such product as freeware? If any new version of the software has come and we need the old version how to obtain the same?Please i need your expert comments on the both points.Thanks for the memebers and friends.RegardsVenkatesan LIndiaMobile: +91 (99420) 19000

  2. Jeff

    Hi Venkatesan:A software vendor that either removes a product from the market or otherwise goes out of business does not give up their ownership rights to the product. The product is still licensed to existing customers under the terms of the license that was agreed to upon purchase. However, simply going out of business or removing the product from the market does not convert the software into freeware.The same is true for older versions of products. While you might be able to convince the software vendor to license you an older version of the product (or you might be able to find a person willing to transfer/sell you their older copy of the product), a software vendor is under no obligation to continue to provide the older product to anyone.Obtaining a copy of an older version of the product through non-legal means (such as Limewire, Kazaa, or via a torrent site) is still illegal.I’m sorry if this is not the answer you were hoping for.~Jeff


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