Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

31 Oct 2007, 11:28 a.m.

SFLC Summit Retrospective, & Bob Loblaw

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2007 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I went to the Software Freedom Law Center summit a few weeks ago and evidently waited for other folks to give their impressions and reports:

None of those reports are terribly thorough, though. So I've put up my notes from the four-hour Legal Summit for Software Freedom 2007. The speakers covered copyright, patent, reverse engineering, and organizational issues, as well as the future of software freedom and of the SFLC. If you still wish you'd been there, you can listen to a separate talk by the guy from SFLC who talked about copyright at the summit. I wish I could link to a video of Eben Moglen's closing remarks at the summit. He was great.

I look forward to the release of the SFLC Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects; we got a draft at the summit and it is 45 pages that every FL/OSS leader should read. We also got copies of SFLC's guides to mixing GPL and more permissive code in a single project and understanding what "originality" really means in fights over copyright infringement.

Fun facts: the New Delhi office of SFLC is scheduled to open in 2008. Also, SFLC has a software project called Loblaw, named after the Arrested Development lawyer and his site, "Bob Loblaw's Law Blog." When I was at, and we were getting the VideoDog video clip subsite going, the video clip we used to test the embedded player was the Bob Loblaw commercial from Arrested Development. That commercial is to VideoDog as Tom's Diner is to the MP3.