Past Engagements

As a free/open source software project grows from idea to running code to stable release, its developers will inevitably be confronted with a number of legal issues. Some of these issues, like copyright licensing, are widely understood. Others, like the trademark implications of selecting a project name, are commonly overlooked. In this session, two lawyers for the Software Freedom Law Center will explain the basic legal concepts that confront a project over its lifecycle.

Topics will include:

  • Copyrights: choosing and applying a license, understanding contributor policies, and dealing with license interactions and compatibility issues.
  • Trademarks: selecting a project name, drafting an acceptable use policy, and minding the rights of others.
  • Patents: understanding patents and protecting your project from aggressive patent holders.
  • Incorporation: limiting developers’ liability, understanding fiscal sponsorship, and deciding whether to form a nonprofit.

Eben Moglen will be giving the keynote at this year’s annual Morningside Post Conference on Digital Media on the topic of “Navigating the Age of Democratized Media”. The conference is run at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York City. Eben’s keynote will begin at 3:00, right after the opening remarks. The conference is open to the public so if you are in the NY area, come by and take a look.

Available records

  • Audio posted March 2, 2011
  • Video posted March 7, 2011