diff --git a/news/2017/news-20170619-01.en.xhtml b/news/2017/news-20170619-01.en.xhtml new file mode 100644 index 0000000000..eaa8b07f8c --- /dev/null +++ b/news/2017/news-20170619-01.en.xhtml @@ -0,0 +1,115 @@ + + + + + Legal and Licensing Workshop 2017: Its 10th edition "restarts" debates in Free Software licensing + + + + +

Legal and Licensing Workshop 2017: Its 10th edition "restarts" debates in Free Software licensing

+ +

In April, the FSFE organised its annual + Free + Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW): a meeting point for + legal experts from all over the world to discuss issues and best practices + surrounding Free Software licences. This year marks the 10th anniversary + of the LLW which was celebrated with the record number of participants: + 120 top legal experts and technologists came all the way down to Barcelona + (Spain) to spend 3 full days discussing legal challenges around Free Software.

+ +

This year, the workshop was held under theme "Restart". Based on the + topics discussed in the previous editions, + it seemed that several prominent discussions needed to be reopened in + order to address emerging challenges. Experts had the opportunity to + debate on various legal issues, including but not limited to: open data + and hardware, open government, tooling for lawyers, software patents, + copyright trolls an other existing challenges for Free Software compliance, + by attending more than 35 presentations of internationally distinguished + speakers with long-standing contribution in the field.

+ +

Admission to the event was open to all + Legal Network + members, while the whole event was covered under the + Chatham + House Rule, enabling confidential discussions under fair terms for + all the participants.

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The part of event was covered by Jake Edge from LWN.net, who + underlined the following discussions during the workshop:

+ +

Shane Coughlan, Armijn Hemel and Mark Radcliffe participated in a panel + discussing the rise of the + copyright troll. Despite copyright trolls not being something new + to the Free Software legal world, the three panellists analysed the + methodology behind such enforcement efforts, based on McHardy's case + in Germany, and discussed ways to address that problem through governance + of Free Software projects.

+ +

The FSFE program manager, Max Mehl shared with the audience the + FSFE's concerns about the EU radio equipment directive + (RED). RED might be leading device makers to lock down their hardware, + stripping users and vendors from their right to install alternative software + of their choice on it. Existing legal uncertainty over newly introduced + requirements for hardware manufacturers poses a real threat to Free Software + enterprises and projects, thus a timely response to these concerns is + critical for software freedom on all devices that emit and/or receive + radio waves, including laptops and smartphones. Max Mehl presented + the + Joint Statement against Radio Lockdown, signed by almost 50 organisations + and companies, and invited everyone to take part in the relevant discussions + by subscribing to the dedicated mailing list.

+ +

Luis Villa, as one of the speakers presenting on open data, + shed light on the legal implications + that need to be taken into account, especially with regard to the data + sets used by machine-learning systems. Privacy concerns, cross-jurisdictional + issues, copyright claims and an emerging right to explanation are all + open legal questions, waiting for a not-so-easy response, according to + Luis Villa. A move towards open data has already began in this area but + the legal difficulties remain: can a copyright licence, albeit open*, + address all these issues? The regulatory response from the governments + may also not be the best solution to provide necessary leverage, according + to Luis Villa.

+ +

In the Free Software world, the supply chain is perplexed and global, + characterised by compliance challenges within numerous Free Software + licences. Shane Coughlan described the OpenChain project + as the means that helps companies in the supply chain to keep track of + their compliance, irrespective of the preferred Free Software licence.

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Another recent effort from the pioneers of the GPL compliance - Shane + Coughlan and Armijn Hemel - was also presented during the workshop: + Practical GPL Compliance + is designed to guide individuals and companies for better GPL compliance + when working with Free Software.

+ +

Last but not least, this year marked also a "restart" for our + long-serving Fiduciary Licensing Agreement (FLA). + The FLA is a well-balanced contributor agreement, which gives the trustee + responsible power to make sure the contributed software always remain + free and open. Matija Ċ uklje, the previous FSFE's Legal Coordinator and + the main driving force behind the FLA update, presented the challenges, + process and changes that led to the FLA-2.0. The biggest points of the + update are that the FLA now also covers patents and enables more practical + outbound licensing options, including a reference to an external licensing + policy. In addition, the new wording is much improved both in its compatibility + with more jurisdictions as well as being easier to understand and apply. + The final text and a new website are to launch in the coming weeks, + so watch this space.

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The workshop would not have been possible without the generous support + of all the event's sponsors. In particular, we would like to thank our + Platinum Sponsors: Intel, Red Hat and The Linux Foundation.

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