The Faces of Open Source: Kate Stewart



This is the third episode from the series in Shane Martin Coughlan's, "The Faces of Open Source Law," that puts a face to the vibrant open source community, and the fascinating discussions happening within it. This series of interviews focuses on issues related to law affecting open source projects and communities—copyright, licensing, patents, foundations, governance, etc.—and includes interviews with several current and former OSI Board Directors.

7 Rules For Engaging Communities On Legal Matters


Having watched a fair number of people attempting to engage both the Open Source Initiative’s licensing evaluation community and the Apache Software Foundation’s legal affairs committee, here are some hints and tips for succeeding when your turn comes to conduct a discussion over legal terms with an open source community.

The Faces of Open Source: Luis Villa



This is the second episode from the series, "The Faces of Open Source Law," by Shane Martin Coughlan. The series puts a face to the vibrant open source community, and the fascinating discussions happening within it, through a series of interviews that we'll be sharing here. This first "season" focuses on issues related to law (copyright, licensing, patents, foundations, governance, etc.) and includes interviews with several current and former OSI Board Directors.

Give Generously! Seven Ways To Help Open Source



Should you donate money to the open source projects you use? Or is there a better way to help?

Your business most likely depends on open source software. But are you playing your part to make sure it will still be there in the future? For that to happen, the projects where it is both maintained and improved need to flourish.

Assume Good Faith



You feel slighted by a comment on a mailing list, or a forum post has failed to be moderated live. How should you react?

A recent exchange on a user forum caught my eye, one that’s typical of many user interactions with open source communities. Someone with a technical question had apparently had the answer they needed and to help others in the same situation had posted a summary of the resolution, complete with sample code. When they came back later, the summary was gone.

Why OSI License Approval Matters



Individual judgment about the presence of software freedom in a license is not the same as community consensus expressed through OSI approval.

Does it really matter if a copyright license is OSI Approved or not? Surely if it looks like it meets the benchmark that’s all that matters? I think that’s the wrong answer, and that OSI license approval is the crucial innovation that’s driven the open source revolution.

Permissive and Copyleft Are Not Antonyms



Using the term “permissive” as an antonym to “copyleft” – or “restrictive” as its synonym – are unhelpful framing. Describe license reciprocity instead.

Some open source licenses implement a clever hack invented by Richard Stallman where, as a condition of the copyright license, anyone creating derived versions has to agree they will license the new version the same way as the original. In a play on words, this concept is called “copyleft” and many open source licenses implement this hack.

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