Software Freedom Law Center’s 15th Anniversary Fall Conference

Where: JGH 103, Columbia Law School

When: Nov 1, 2019, 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 1st, 2019.

Location: Jerome Greene Hall Room 103, Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th Street, New York, New York 10027

Date and Time: November 1st, 2019, 8:30am to 6:00pm

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

Invitation: Though the conference is free of charge, it is invitation only. If you have not yet received an invitation from us and would like to attend, please email requesting one.

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

Social Media and Liveblog: Please join the discussion about our conference using the hashtag #SFLC2019 on Twitter, Mastodon, and LinkedIn. We will be liveblogging the conference on our Twitter account and cross-posting to our Mastodon account.

Livestream: This event will be audio and video recorded and livestreamed. Those unable to attend can follow the conference livestream here.

Conference Program:

Program was most recently updated on October 23rd, 2019

08:30am Registration opens, Coffee is served

09:00am Welcome and Opening Remarks - Eben Moglen, President and Executive Director, SFLC

09:15am-10:00am Keynote

10:00am-10:50am Software Distribution, Fast and Slow

FOSS licensing and distribution models are now applied to software stacks integrated for long-term use, emphasizing stability over years guaranteeing reliability and compliance for downstream distributions. The same basic arrangements, legal and technical, are used for integrating stacks consisting of layers in containers with a possible lifetime of milliseconds. Different strains and challenges are experienced across the short- and long-lifetime distribution spectrum. This panel explores what we can learn about compliance and other subjects from these contrasts.

10:50am-11:00am Coffee break

11:00am-12:00pm Panel: “Is Copyright the Answer to Everything?”

Additional restrictions in FOSS licenses to address labor rights, human rights, and business model protections are driving the “new proliferation” boomlet. Experts in FOSS law are almost universally skeptical. In this panel, continuing our conversation from last year, we further explore this skepticism, and ask “why aren’t we there yet?”

12:00pm-01:00pm Short talks:

  • RISC-V and other free hardware at LF
  • Robust Openness in the Web’s Next Era: FreedomBox, Federation, and the Future
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Legal Governance for Open Source Foundations

01:00pm-02:00pm Lunch

02:00pm-02:15pm Tribute to Terry Ilardi

A giant of FOSS law retires after 40 years. We consider the achievements of Terry and his IBM colleagues in the foundation of FOSS for enterprise.

02:15pm-03:00pm Patent Rights in FOSS Licensing: Are Implicit Patent Licenses a Mirage?

There was a spirited discussion in the FOSS legal community on this subject over the past months. Now that the dust has settled, can we see more clearly?

3:00pm-3:10pm Coffee break

03:10-04:00pm Regulating Platform Companies: If It’s Inevitable, What Can the FOSS Experience Teach?

Pressure to regulate presently-existing social media is growing in all the developed societies. Democracies will soon be debating the various possible forms of regulation in the US, Europe and India, to name only the largest. Competition law, human rights law, free speech and expression law, and other institutions of public law will be invoked on all sides. We consider both the claims of these legal domains to address issues of social media misuse, misinformation, and privacy destruction. We also ask, does FOSS (which enabled the creation of centralized social media) also contain possible modes of remediation?

04:00pm-05:15pm FOSS in Asia, Updates and Forecasts

Leading analysts and practitioners working in China, India, Japan and South Korea discuss the burgeoning of FOSS in Asia, and the institutions needed to support lawyers doing FOSS law in those societies.

05:15pm-06:00pm Conclusion: Whither Free Software?

Professor Moglen offers a view of the movement’s future as it turns a crucial page and begins another phase of its long march to freedom.

End of Conference

Information Regarding New York CLE Credits:

Columbia Law School has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board as an Accredited Provider of CLE programs. Under New York State CLE regulations, this live non-transitional CLE Program will provide 6.5 credit hours that can be applied toward the Areas of Professional Practice requirement. This CLE credit is awarded only to New York attorneys for full attendance of the Program in its entirety. Attorneys attending only part of the program are not eligible for partial credit. Attendance is determined by an attorney’s sign-in and sign-out, as shown in the Conference registers. On final sign-out, attorneys should also submit their completed Evaluation Form, provided at the Conference. Please note the NYS Certificates of Attendance will be sent to the email address as it appears in the register unless otherwise noted there.

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