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Wednesday, October 24 • 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Communities and Licensing: Why Open Source Cares So Much About Compliance? - James Bottomley, Parallels

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In the early days of open source, public domain was considered to be thebest approach to releasing something for all to use.  This worked wellright up until the time AT&T, with the unix lawsuit over who owned whatin the code, showed us that we all needed to pay attention to releasingcode explicitly under licence.  Later, Richard Stallman, with thebrilliant concept of using the distribution terms of the licence to bindpeople further down the stream of code to requirements that could beused to embody the ethos of the developers (something he calledcopyleft) showed us that a licence could be much more than simply adocument outlining the loose terms of use for the code and it could,instead, be used in part to embody the philosophy and practices of thecommunity using the licence.
Today, the licence that still most closely matches the community spiritof Linux is GPLv2 and as a corollary to this, anyone who violates theterms of the licence not only commits a legal infraction, whichcompanies usually expect will be remediable by cash, but also commits aviolation of the community ethos which tends to cause significantirritation (and consequent blowback to the violating company).
This talk will explore the evolution of the intertwining of communitywith licence and try to explain why the licence and its potentialviolation causes such significant and severe reactions in open sourcedevelopers.

Speakers
avatar for James Bottomley

James Bottomley

CTO of Server Virtualisation, Parallels
James Bottomley is CTO of Server Virtualisation at Parallels and Linux Kernel maintainer of the SCSI subsystem, PA-RISC Linux and the 53c700 set of drivers. He has made contributions in the areas of x86 architecture and SMP, filesystems, storage and memory management and coherency. He is currently a Director on the Board of the Linux Foundation and Chair of its Technical Advisory Board. He was born and grew up in the United Kingdom. He went to university at Cambridge in 1985 for both his...
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Wednesday October 24, 2012 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Grand Conference Room
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