Free Software and Litigation Risks – Events


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Thursday, June 2, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT
09:00 – 10:00 PT

Please join partners Doug Crisman and Corey Houmand as they explore the history of open source litigation and how companies can better manage the technical and legal issues that are expected to arise in future open source software litigation.

Key points to remember

  • Adopt an Open Source Software (OSS) policy addressing the use and contribution of open source software and educate developers and business and legal teams on the policy.
  • Allow the legal team to review proposals for use (internal or external) or contribute to the OSS.
    • Review of some proposals may be expedited due to low-risk whitelisted factors (e.g., permissive OSS licenses and safe uses) associated with the proposal.
  • Identify key legal and development team members with OSS expertise to assess and advise on mitigating potential risks associated with the proposed use of OSS.
  • Document proposals and approvals to use OSS.
  • Be alert to possible OSS license violations in code that a company distributes, uses in a product, or uses in customer/end-user service.
  • When negotiating an incoming software license, consider asking the licensor for a list of copyleft OSS in the software and an open source indemnity to protect against misuse of the OSS by the licensor.
  • When using a contractor to develop code, consider reviewing their policies, processes, and training for working with OSS; review/verify its use of free software with copyleft during the assignment; and/or seek open source indemnity to protect against its misuse of the OSS.
  • With respect to OSS subject to copyleft licenses (e.g., GNU General Public License (GPL)-like licenses), consider that safer uses of these OSS avoid modification of the OSS, distribution of ‘OSS or its derivatives, and/or the combination of OSS with proprietary software. coded.
  • When negotiating an outbound software license, avoid providing a large OSS indemnity, especially if the company has not developed or integrated the OSS that might be bundled with the licensed code.
  • When distributing OSS under a GPL license, be prepared to provide the corresponding source if necessary (eg GPL v.2, section 3, GPL v.3, section 3).

CLE Credit: CLE credit in CA, CT, FL, IL, NJ (via reciprocity), NY, PA, and TX is currently pending approval.


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