Just Enough Intellectual Property Law to Manage an Open Source Project

Cliff Schmidt, Vice President of Legal Affairs, Apache Software Foundation

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Tuesday, July 25
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Location: D139-140

This tutorial is designed for managers and open source contributors interested in understanding the intellectual property issues applicable to open source projects. The tutorial will begin with an introduction to U.S. copyright, patent, and trademark law, plus a few examples of related laws in other countries. A more detailed review of U.S. copyright law will follow, including a discussion of derivative works, collective works, and fair use.

Next, an analysis and summary of the top ten most significant open source licenses will be presented, plus an in-depth review of the GPL, LGPL, MPL, and Apache License. The last half of the tutorial will focus on case studies covering legal issues that have faced several companies and open source organizations, including contributor copyright assignment and licensing, patent licensing and standards, distribution of a single project under multiple open source licenses, and trademark management.

The instructor for this topic is not a lawyer, but rather an open source leader who has spent many years investigating and solving IP issues for both independent software vendors and non-profit open source software foundations.