Past Engagements

Mishi Choudhary (Software Freedom Law Center), Deb Nicholson (Open Invention Network), Justin Colannino (Ropes & Gray LLP)

OSCon in Portland, OR
5:00pm Thursday, 07/19/2012
Business, E145

The intense commercial competition between technology companies is driving large volumes of complex and often multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. With the de facto possibility of patenting software related ideas in various countries, free and open source software developers must understand the patent risks inherent in the development and distribution of their software. This will help them cut through the patent FUD and develop real solutions to face the risk of patent aggression with the help of a collaborative ecosystem. Further, such collective thinking will ensure that we can spend less time worrying and more time accomplishing in areas crucial to innovation i.e better code and development, better documentation and a united community.

In this session lawyers from the Software Freedom Law Center and the Community Outreach Director of Open Invention Network (OIN) will discuss the current trends in software patent aggression, will provide useful information about patents and patent liability, and will explain some means to provide community defense.

More information available at the OSCon panel page.

This Sunday, Eben Moglen will be speaking at the ninth annual Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania, in midtown Manhattan. His talk will be called “How to Retrofit the First Law of Robotics


We live with robots now, as we always knew we would. But they have no hands or feet. We carry them in our pockets. They see what we see. They hear what we hear. They always know where we are. But they do not work for us, and they are not programmed to obey the First Law. Profit made them, profit runs them, and they hurt us every day. Free Software can retrofit the First Law of Robotics into the robots we call cell phones, but those who control the robots don’t want freedom inside. That’s where we come in. This talk will discuss how.

HOPE Number Nine
The Hotel Pennsylvania, NYC
Sunday, 2012 July 15
1:00 PM in room “Dennis”

Available records

This coming Tuesday at the Freedom to Connect conference in Washington DC, Eben Moglen will be delivering the 11:00am keynote on the topic of Innovation under Austerity. The talk will be followed by 30 minutes of discussion lead by Doc Searls and others. All events at the conference will take place at the American Film Institute, located at 8633 Colesville Road. Directions are available here and registration for the event is still open here.

Available records

As largely self-organizing groups, free software projects have always faced unique challenges when they decide to formally incorporate. The choice whether to form a nonprofit or a for-profit carries not only legal but community consequences. Recently, these choices have only become more complex. The IRS is closely scrutinizing the applications of new free software nonprofits applying for tax exemption, and may apply more exclusive criteria to new applications than it has in the past. Recognizing a need, some established nonprofits have begun sponsoring the activity of smaller, unincorporated projects. And several U.S. states have adopted laws authorizing new “hybrid” corporate forms, “benefit corporations” organized for profit but dedicated to the public benefit. This presentation will discuss the changing corporate landscape of free software and discuss how projects should approach these issues when they consider incorporation.

Eben Moglen will be speaking at this year’s LibrePlanet, which will be held this March 24th and 25th in the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Eben will be speaking on the second day of the conference at 10:10 in the U03-3550/Ballroom. The conference is free for FSF associate members and more information is available from the LibrePlanet online schedule.