Open Source SIG: The Facts and Fallacies of Open Source Licensing



  • Monthly Meeting of the New Open Source Software SIG



    Larry Rosen, Attorney and Technology Author Rosenlaw & Einschlag

    Steve Mutkoski, Corporate Counsel Microsoft



    The Facts and Fallacies of Open Source Licensing


    Presentation Overview

    Come learn about open source licensing from distinguished industry experts. Larry Rosen, legal counsel for OSI, and author of a new book on open source licensing, and Steve Mutkoski, Microsoft licensing counsel, will discuss and debate topics like:


    • Understanding the terms of the GPL and its enforceability.
    • Financial and commercial challenges created by Open Source licensing.
    • Protection of intellectual property using Open Source licenses.

    • You should attend if you are responsible for developing and managing Open Source software projects, software licensing, or corporate intellectual property. Whether companies are aware of it or not, nearly all have some open source programs in-house and larger companies may use hundreds of different open source programs. According to surveys, it is generally engineers who are delegated the responsibility for reviewing open source licenses. Where have they developed that expertise, and how well do their companies understand their rights and obligations under the GPL and other open source licenses?

      While the GPL is no paragon of clarity, it is still used by the majority of open source developers. Open source licensing requires an understanding of license interpretation and legal authority, including statutes, case law and jurisdictional questions. Join us with your questions for the experts.

      About the Panelists

      Lawrence Rosen

      Lawrence Rosen is an attorney specializing in technology. Larry previously taught programming and managed several computer departments at Stanford University. He is currently general counsel and secretary of Open Source Initiative (OSI), formerly served as its executive director, and has written several major open source licenses. His book, Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law, was published by Prentice Hall in 2004.

      Stephen Mutkoski

      Stephen Mutkoski is a corporate attorney in Microsoft’s Intellectual Property & Licensing Group. Steve provides counsel to Microsoft business units and executives regarding open source–related matters including incorporation of open source code into company products, establishment and oversight of company sponsored community projects, and M&A diligence. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent time at the law firms of Preston Gates & Ellis and Latham & Watkins.

      Event Logistics


      Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, LLP.

      2000 University Avenue

      East Palo Alto, CA 94303

      Tel: 650.833.2000

      Fax: 650.833.2001


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration/Networking

    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentation



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members

    No charge for SDForum members

    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships

    No registration required