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CLA’s: Best Thing Since Sliced Bread or Tool of the Devil… A Panel Discussion

Moderated by:
Danese Cooper (PayPal)
Panelists:
Brian Behlendorf (The Hyperledger Project at the Linux Foundation), Richard Fontana (Red Hat), Bradley Kuhn (Software Freedom Conservancy)
Business
F151
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Open Source licenses are mostly grounded in US Copyright Law, which requires 51% representation to claim standing in any copyright-related action (including defense against infringement claims as well as re-licensing). Yet, they are also a barrier to participation, since you often must have one in place before you make a substantial (or in some cases any) contribution. Some projects (Mozilla) never aggregated copyrights. Others (Apache) have had them since incorporation and see them as key to their Mission. What do YOU think?

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Danese Cooper

PayPal

Danese Cooper is head of open source at PayPal and runs a successful consultancy serving companies wishing to pursue open source strategies, which have included SETI Foundation, Harris Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Numenta among other clients. Over her 25-year history in the software industry, Danese has long been an advocate for transparent development methodologies. Danese has held many leadership roles within the computer science sector. She has managed teams at Symantec and Apple, served as chief open source evangelist for Sun Microsystems for six years, and served as senior director for open source strategies at Intel for four years. Danese advised the R community on open source policy while at REvolution Computing (now Revolution Analytics) and served as chief technical officer for the Wikimedia Foundation. She is a director on the board of the Drupal Association, a chairperson for the Node.js Foundation board, a board advisor for Mozilla and Ushahidi, and a member of the Apache Software Foundation. Danese was also a board member of the Open Source Initiative for 10 years.

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Brian Behlendorf

The Hyperledger Project at the Linux Foundation

Brian Behlendorf is the executive director of the Hyperledger Project at the Linux Foundation and senior technology advisor at Mithril Capital Management in San Francisco. Over his career, Brian has held a mix of technology startup, public policy, and nonprofit tech leadership positions. He serves on the boards of the Mozilla Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Benetech—three organizations using technology to fight for civil liberties, open technologies, and social impact in the digital domain. Previously, Brian was chief technology officer at the World Economic Forum, served for two years at the White House as advisor to the Open Government project within the Office of Science and Technology Policy, was an advisor to Health and Human Services on open software approaches to health information sharing, and founded two tech companies, CollabNet and Organic, and several open source software projects, including Apache and Subversion.

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Richard Fontana

Red Hat

Richard Fontana is a lawyer who has specialized in open source legal issues for over ten years. He is Red Hat’s lead open source lawyer and supports Red Hat’s engineering and R&D teams. Richard is also a board director of the Open Source Initiative. He has been an active and influential public speaker on matters at the intersection of open source, law and policy.

Photo of Bradley Kuhn

Bradley Kuhn

Software Freedom Conservancy

Bradley M. Kuhn is the president and distinguished technologist at Software Freedom Conservancy, on the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation, and editor-in-chief of Copyleft.org. Bradley began his work in the software freedom movement as a volunteer in 1992, when he became an early adopter of the GNU/Linux operating system and began contributing to various free software projects. He worked during the 1990s as a system administrator and software developer for various companies and taught AP Computer Science at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. His nonprofit career began in 2000, when he was hired by the FSF. As FSF’s executive director from 2001 to 2005, Bradley led FSF’s GPL enforcement, launched its Associate Member program, and invented the Affero GPL.

Bradley was appointed president of Software Freedom Conservancy in April 2006, was Conservancy’s primary volunteer from 2006 to 2010, and has been a full-time staffer since early 2011. Bradley holds a summa cum laude BS in computer science from Loyola University in Maryland and an MS in computer science from the University of Cincinnati, where his master’s thesis discussed methods for dynamic interoperability of free software programming languages. An excerpt from his thesis won the Damien Conway Award for Best Technical Paper in 2000. Bradley also received an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2012 in recognition for his lifelong policy work on copyleft licensing. He has a blog, is on pump.io, and cohosts the audcast, Free as in Freedom.