Carlo Piana

he/him/his Assistant Secretary
Candidacy Period: April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2025 Type of Seat:

Lawyer and digital freedom advocate, Carlo is an eminent figure in the Open Source field. Former General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation Europe for more than a decade, he represented FSFE and the Samba Team in the largest antitrust litigation in Europe, arguing before the Court of Justice and the European Commission in a ten years long confrontation. This led to the confirmation of the decision against Microsoft and to the opening of a phase of more openness of its protocols and more competition in the browser field. He has assisted several projects and companies in devising their open source strategy from licensing to governance, from trademark registration to internal policies, dedicating countless pro bono hours to the cause. He is currently serving as IP and OS advisory team of United Nations Technology Innovation Labs and has for fifteen years served as an editor of Ifosslr – the first legal review dedicated exclusively to free and open source software law and other liberties. In Italy, he has published one of the most successful books on digital liberties (“Open Source, Software Libero e Altre Libertà”) distributed in 5000 copies by Wikimedia Foundation Italia. He is also on record in the first decision to enforce an open source licence in Italy. Carlo has been also active and outspoken in the licence approval discussion list at OSI. Other than for Open Source software, Carlo has been active working against software patents, especially when enshrined in standards and advocating for real open standards. He has a working knowledge of standards, patents and their licensing, having been involved in technology transfer in the multimedia field. This has included assisting the convenor of the MPEG group at ISO in an attempt to have an OSI-approved licence as the outbound licence for the reference implementations and all software. Also is a staunch advocate of Open Data and Open Source in the Public Administration, having represented FSFE and the KDE Foundation in the team drafting of the first national guidelines on the procurement of open source software in Italy. Currently he advises the Noi Techpark in Bolzano for their Open Data Hub and has been a consultant of Regione Sardegna for their open data strategy. Having dedicated more than 25 years of his professional activity to IT law, Carlo is also President of EuroITcounsel, a network of lawyers specialising in IT and has founded Array (Array is an array) a loosely knit law firm exclusively dedicated to IT Law and Free and Open Source.

How the candidate will contribute to the board

OpenForum Europe believes Carlo is an outstanding candidate for the position, carrying the experience of a passionate advocate of digital freedoms as well as a very sound legal background. He would bring with him an international view of the current and future challenges. While coming from the grassroots movement, he is equally considered equanimous by industry players, having a deep knowledge of how large and small corporations, large and small public entities, startups, foundation and grassroots movement work and face open source for their goals and needs. He would bring his experience and connections, and be a balanced voice of the affiliates in the Board.

We believe that more than 18 years spent pushing for the adoption of open source, advocating open source, defending open source against all sorts of threats and sleaze attacks and slander, give Carlo the experience and credibility that OSI deserves.