LinuxFest Northwest 2015

Bellingham, WA April 25th & 26th

From Creation to Compliance: A Free Software Legal Primer

donaldr3's picture
The talk will walk through licensing issues that free software projects face at each phase of their development, and how choices at each step affect later options. License selection is sometimes not given too much thought, but the decision can have wide ranging affects. The contribution policy and the tools available for license enforcement are often affected by the choice of license. The talk begins with a brief overview of the main types of free software licenses and what goes into selecting a particular license for a project. The talk then moves on to focus on contribution policies. While many projects simply accept contributions under the outbound license, there are other options they may not be aware of, such as contributor license agreements or as in the case of the Free Software Foundation, copyright assignment. Different contribution policies can have different benefits, and some policies work better for a project depending on the license. Finally the talk will cover the basics of license enforcement, once again relating to how the previous decisions affect what enforcement options are available, from community actions all the way up to filing a lawsuit. The session will end with a brief question and answer period.


Speaker Bio:

Donald Robertson, III, J.D. is the Copyright and Licensing Associate for the Free Software Foundation. He has worked for the FSF for over five years in the FSF's Licensing & Compliance Lab, and has been involved in free software for over a decade. <>

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2014-04-26 10:00-2014-04-26 11:00



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