||The world of agriculture and natural resource management increasingly employs approaches that emphasize integrative analyses. Multiple disciplines and sources of information are processed with software-based tools such as geographic information systems (GIS), image analysis, and simulation modeling. These tools are well known for their appetites for data, often obliging users to assemble data from diverse sources. In this process, questions regarding data ownership, data quality, and reliability of products often arise. Similarly, in collaborative efforts and contracted work, questions come up concerning ownership and allowed use of software, including source code. This primer examines concepts of Intellectual Property (IP) and other legal issues relating to GIS used in agriculture and natural resource management. The intent is to provide a guide for day-to-day activities of people involved in agriculture and natural research management. The primer is not, however, a substitute for legal advice. Where specifi licensing or contract issues are involved, readers are encouraged to consult legal experts. Choose experts familiar with the topic and who have experience with the relevant geographic jurisdictions, as laws vary from nation to nation. Spatial information, geographic information, geodata - whatever your favorite term - is first and foremost "information." As information is exchanged among individuals or institutions, questions arise relating to ownership, authorized use, future use, and implied quality: If a laboratory purchases a set of point data to create an interpolated map, does the seller retain rights to the mapped data? How can a large database, perhaps representing 25 years of labor, be made widely accessible without forfeiting legal control? Does the phrase "for non-commercial use only" have any legal meaning? Can a novel software algorithm be protected, potentially to generate royalties? As a user of "open source" data or software, what are your rights and responsibilities? • If maps or ata sets contain substantial errors, are the providers legally accountable (liable) for damage or losses relating to those errors? The field of legal issues in GIS is evolving rapidly, and various international agreements and national laws are under discussion that will affect use of spatial data and software. Key issues relate to respecting the rights of owners while avoiding barriers to the flow of data and processed information needed for research in agriculture and natural resource management.