Open SaaS: Using Free and Open Source Software as Software-as-a-Service

Miriam Ballhausen


Under German copyright law, rights of use cannot be granted for so-called unknown types of use. Software-as-a-Service (hereinafter: “SaaS”) is a use considered to be unknown until the mid 1990s. When taking the law in a literal sense, Free and Open Source Software (hereinafter: “FOSS”) licenses granted before then thus cannot grant the rights of use necessary for SaaS, meaning that some FOSS cannot be lawfully made available via SaaS under German copyright law.


copyright law, FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, Software licensing, unknown type of use

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