Software Freedom Law Center’s 14th Annual Fall Conference

Where: JGH 103, Columbia Law School

When: Nov 2, 2018, 8:30am to 6:00pm

The Software Freedom Law Center invites counsel, developers, enterprise users and other members of free and open source software (FOSS) communities to join us once again for our free annual conference to explore legal issues surrounding FOSS, held at Columbia Law School on Friday, November 2, 2018.

We have assembled what we think will be a very lively and interesting program, which you can find summarized below.

The conference is free of charge and will be held in Room 103, Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th Street, New York, NY.

Please RSVP to

NYS Bar members seeking free CLE credit should contact for information.

Those unable to attend can follow the conference live stream.

And please join the discussion about our conference using the hashtag #SFLC2018 on Twitter, Mastodon, and LinkedIn.

The ideas are free as in freedom, and—as always—attendance, continental breakfast, lunch, and the various drinks are free as in beer.

Conference Program:


  • Registration

0915-1040 Key Notes:

1045-1145 Short talks:

  • GPL cooperation Commitment
  • Open Chain
  • LF Project Update
  • Patents

1145-1230 License Restrictions, Common Clause

Additional restrictions modifying existing FOSS licenses are becoming noticeably popular. Is this license proliferation under a new guise? Does it help or hurt business models around FOSS?

1230-1400 Lunch

1400-1530 Where are We Going With Cars These Days?

As manufacturers and Tier One suppliers move rapidly towards FOSS adoption in vehicles and components, traditional suspicion of copyleft meets the realities of a new form of software supply chain. Experiments in autonomy are demonstrating both promises and problems in the new automotive software ecology. An update from multiple viewpoints: where are we going, and who is in charge of how we get there?

1545-1700 Why FOSS is Essential to AI Development

Everyone’s doing it. Companies that have not been traditional generators of free and open source software are now major contibutors and stakeholders in FOSS AI projects. Companies that have built empires in proprietary software are doing AI development as FOSS. In this panel, we discuss the centrality of FOSS to AI and the legal issues that will arise as we go on.

1700-1800 The End of the End of Money: Is Blockchain Finally Outgrowing Cryptocurrency and ICOs?

If Walmart wants blockchain to track salad greens, and currency mining has become the stuff of browser malware, are we getting closer to sanity in our understanding of publicly-modifiable authenticated data, or are we all still hallucinating?

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