FOSS Backstage in Focus - Legal / Compliance

We have so many great talks this year we want to highlight some of the topics and themes running through the event.

One of the big topics of discussion within the FOSS community over the past few years has been over legal matters when dealing with Open Source. This area of discussion is represented by a string of talks talking place on Thursday 11th which you can see on our website here.

The afternoon begins with Aaron Williamson, an attorney with over 10 years' experience advising clients on FOSS issues, discussing the basics of FOSS licensing. Aaron will cover license types, copyleft's complexities, CLAs and DCOs, & more. If you have ever wondered how you choose a license for your project, or what the differences between different FOSS licenses are, this is the talk for you.

Previous FOSS Backstage keynote speaker, General Manager of the OpenChain Project, and advisor at the United Nationals Technology Innovation Labs, Shane Coughlan will explore the process of building and deploying the first Linux Foundation ISO standard in fourteen years. This is a must see for everyone looking to take open source and standards to the next level.

There are big debates happening right now around licencing open hardware. That is why we are thrilled to have Lars Zimmermann, lead designer at Mifactori, discuss some of the common misunderstandings around licensing open source hardware. Lars will highlight the open questions, propose some collective action to fix the situation and show how things are done the right way.

Many university and other public R+D centres have little idea how much FOSS they are producing, nor how much they are using, which has a big impact on inbound compliance and outbound licence choice. Malcolm Bain is a lawyer with a special focus on open source projects will tell you some horror (and success) stories from his 20 years of experience in the field.

Participation in technology development through Open Source Software requires legal cooperation between developers and users. One organization looking to support OSS innovation through projects is the Open Invention Network (OIN). Keith Bergelt is CEO of OIN, the largest patent non-aggression community in OSS history, created to support freedom of action in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies. Join Keith at FOSS Backstage to find out more about the OIN, and how they could support you.

To finish a great day of legal talks at FOSS Backstage Shane Curcuru will be hosting an Ask Me Anything session helping to answer your trademark law questions. Are you trying to build the brand of your community-led project? Is your community struggling to keep vendor marketing teams out of your project's governance? Do you need a lawyer before you can "trademark" something, or can you do it yourself? Bring your questions to Shane to get some expert advice and make use of his years of experience with the Apache Software Foundation.

All this is just one of the many streams of great talks running through FOSS Backstage. Get your ticket for FOSS Backstage here: