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.