Conference News & Coverage

Diamond Sponsors

  • Fotango
  • Intel
  • Microsoft

Gold Sponsors

  • Dell Inc.
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  • Mozilla Corporation

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  • ActiveState
  • Autodesk
  • Google
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  • Novell, Inc.
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  • SnapLogic
  • ThoughtWorks
  • Ticketmaster

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Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus (PDF).

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Dispelling Legal Myths: Things OSS Developers Get Wrong About Law

Daniel Berlin, Google

Track: Business
Date: Thursday, July 26
Time: 2:35pm - 3:20pm
Location: F150

Many OSS developers currently hold onto a number of legal fictions about the way patents, copyrights, and trademarks operate. This talk attempts to dispel most of these legal fictions, in particular, covering the following:


  • What is generally considered copyrightable, and how it is determined by courts.
  • What is generally considered fair use in computer programming, and how it is determined by courts.
  • What it actually means for a work to be in the public domain, and assigning rights.


  • The current legal standards for patentability.
  • The current legal standards for obviousness.
  • The current legal standards for infringement
  • Costs of obtaining patents and litigating them.


  • Whether registration is necessary to have a trademark
  • What trademarks actually protect