The Legal Network
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop is held every year to allow legal experts to discuss issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This event has become the world’s foremost gathering of lawyers, technologists and thought leaders on Free Software legal and licensing topics. With up to three days of talks in an informal and confidential atmosphere, the Workshop advances the state of the art of knowledge on topics ranging from licence compliance to patent management, from project governance to corporate responsibility and even further to the cutting edge issues themselves.
Participation to the Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop provides legal professionals not only the opportunity to share knowledge and updates on the topics they are working on, but also a chance to meet and get acquainted with each other. These two aspects, combined, foster better licence compliance by spreading best practices. The conference also provides a forum for different professionals to better understand each other, thus reducing the overall friction in the sector.
Participation to the event is open to all Legal Network members. Invitations might be extended to non-members when the FSFE’s Legal Team deems their presence useful to the debate. If you think you might qualify, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop 2019
The FSFE's annual Free Software Legal and Licensing workshop (LLW) took place from 10 to 12 April, in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2019, ca 130 top legal experts from all over the world gathered to learn about and discuss Free Software legal and licensing issues over the course of around 30 presentations. This year's theme was "The Long Term View", a theme aimed to provoke participants and presenters to contemplate the progress that Free Software has made, and the work that still needs to be done in the way forward.
Some of the topics we discussed:
A series of discussions on how to tackle different ways to gather contributions, from both the legal and community point of view.
A series of discussions about compliance and the various compliance tool projects available.
Corporate usage of Free Software
Case studies on the struggles and successes of how various corporate entities manage Free Software.
GPL compliance trolling
A workshop to contextualize and work on strategies to combat copyright profiteering.
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop 2018
The FSFE's annual Free Software Legal and Licensing workshop (LLW) took place from 18 to 20 April, in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2018 workshop gathered ca 120 top legal experts from all over the world and included more than 40 presentations on wide variety of legal issues. After more than a decade-long tradition of LLW, we decided to bring the event back to its roots and emphasise the "Workshop" part in its original title, resulting in unprecedented amount of parallel interactive sessions aimed at coming up with concrete results. Hence the theme for LLW2018: "Putting 'W' back to Legal and Licensing Workshop"
Some of the topics we discussed:
The role of Free Software in the 21st century
Artificial intelligence, blockchain, automated decision making, and open data: what can we learn from Free Software and how to apply these principles to other domains in modern world of technology.
Free Software in standards setting bodies
Ways how Free Software and standards setting bodies can co-exist in ICT standardisation domain
Free Software licence enforcement
Case studies and ways to address enforcement challenges in Free Software.
Overview of existing projects and latest efforts in compliance tooling.
Patents in Free Software licences
The interplay between explicit and implicit patent clauses in Free Software licences.
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop 2017
The FSFE's annual Free Software Legal and Licensing workshop (LLW) took place from 26 to 28 April, in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2017 workshop attracted more than 120 top legal experts from all over the world and included more than 35 presentations on numerous legal issues, including open data, tooling, software patents and existing challenges for Free Software licensing. Based on the topics discussed throughout the years and the feedback we collected, it seemed that several prominent topics for discussions needed to be reopened in order to address emerging challenges. Hence this year's workshop was held under the theme: Restart
Some of the topics we discussed:
How public administrations, corporations and international organisations deal with the principle of openness?
The present and future of copyleft
A debate over the challenges that copyleft is facing nowadays and the ways to move forward.
Tools for lawyers
An exploration of the most useful tools for legal experts to support Free Software compliance.
Dilemmas in licensing
Persisting questions and possible answers to issues found in the core of licensing: from finding file level licence information and authorship till language boundaries and attribution obligations.
A discussion on current and past enforcement efforts.1
Patent and Free Software
Argumentation on ways Free Software can efficiently address patent risks.
Cutting edge of Free Software
State-of-the-art legal, technical and entrepreneurial approaches on Free Software.
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop 2016
In 2016 Legal Network Conference was held on the 13, 14 and 15 of April 2016, in Barcelona, Spain.
Backed up by the feedback and experience we collected in the past few years, we decided to continue with the trend of addressing important challenges. What we saw recently is that the situation is becoming more and more complex and that it is high time we do something about it. This is why the motto for 2016 was:
Some of the topics we discussed were:
NGOs for Free Software:
Proposals and new ideas on legal structures for Free Software projects
Important non-software cases:
Some cases that were not about software, but can impact how copyright on software is applied by courts
The best tools to support and manage Free Software compliance
How collaborating on various issues can make everything simpler
Enforcement and compliance:
Are the efforts towards enforcement making Free Software stronger?2
The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop 2015
In 2015 the workshop took place, once again, in Barcelona on 16-17 April, receiving more than 90 experts from all around the world. Instead of rehashing familiar topics, we looked at what problems we will likely encounter in the next five to ten years. Each day we had two topics to spur interesting debate in the room as well as the hallway. As always, the workshop was held under the Chatham House Rule, to encourage an open and unencumbered debate.
In 2015 we held a pre-event on 15 April, called the Open* Day, to explore topics beside software. In particular:
Recent events and cases:
Updates on patent, copyright and data mining cases
Plug-in licence for patents:
Some proposals on how to add patent licensing clauses to older licences.
Research standards and their Free Software implementation:
Exploring the relationship between standards, Free Software and their impact on public administrations and public procurement.
Openness - encouragement or compulsion?
Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of different degrees of openness, considering also different legal tools to enforce it.
EU public sector, information and privacy:
An overview on how those critical aspects of EU legislation interact with each other. How should they be balanced?
During the workshop (16-17 April), we discussed some activities more strictly linked to software:
Greasing up compliance:
An update on the most recent developments and ideas on licence compliance.
Some proposals and ideas on how to manage patents in Free Software licencing and their consequences.
Exploring new exciting connections with different jurisdictions and different branches of the legal system.
- The rise of copyright trolls↩
- Two of those discussions have been reported on LWN.net: