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To read comments to this article, go here
Two FSF Seminars on the GPL in California August 24 and 25
Tuesday, July 27 2004 @ 02:09 PM EDT

I get email sometimes asking about the GPL seminar I attended last winter and occasionally people ask me if there will be more, so they can go. I just got a notice about two more that will be held in California in August, on the 24th and the 25th, at Stanford University Law School, so I'm sharing the notice with you.

I can absolutely recommend this seminar heartily. I learned a great deal, including some things that surprised me. I thought I knew the subject well, but I found out, for example, that the way to handle violations wasn't what I had imagined. When I went, it was predominantly executives wishing to learn how to appropriately use GPL software and lawyers from major law firms and from legal departments in large corporations, so I was quiet as a little mouse, but I surely absorbed what I needed to understand. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to know how the GPL works, including coders and journalists and executives, and I'm living proof that you don't need to be a lawyer to get something out of it. There are no pop quizzes. And you don't have to do anything but listen and learn. If your boss is in the fearful "The Company Shalt Not Use GPL" category, he or she needs to go to find out how a company can get set up to appropriately benefit from GPL software. Oh, and the food was great at the one I went to. It was a class event.

The two upcoming courses will provide a detailed study and analysis of the GPL, review significant case studies and license violations, and look at compliance issues in Free Software Licensing. The seminars will be co-led by Daniel Ravicher, Senior Counsel to FSF and Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation, and Bradley M. Kuhn, Executive Director of FSF. On August 24, "Detailed Study and Analysis of GPL and LGPL" will give a section-by-section explanation of the most popular Free Software copyright license, the GNU General Public License (GPL), and will educate lawyers, software developers, managers and business people on how to use the GPL (and GPL'ed software) successfully in both new Free Software businesses and in existing, successful enterprises.

On August 25, "GPL Compliance Case Studies" will present four specific case studies handled by FSF's GPL Compliance Lab. Attendees will have completed either "Detailed Study and Analysis of GPL and LGPL" or another previous FSF licensing seminar, since those courses form the building blocks for the more in-depth material.

Here's part of the notice, with details you'll need if you wish to attend, contact John Sullivan at johns @ fsf.org or 1+617-542-5942 or go to http://www.fsf.org and click on the link under GNUs Flashes to sign up online:

*************************************

FSF Seminars on the GPL and Free Software Licensing

"For more than a decade, FSF has urged projects to build a process whereby the legal assembly of the software is as sound as the software development itself."
- Bradley Kuhn, FSF Executive Director, May 2004

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is offering two day-long seminars on Free Software licensing and the GNU General Public License in partnership with Stanford Law School on August 24 and 25, 2004. The seminars will be co-led by Daniel Ravicher, Senior Counsel to FSF and Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation; and Bradley M. Kuhn, Executive Director of FSF. They will be held on the Stanford University campus in northern California.

On August 24, Detailed Study and Analysis of the GPL and the LGPL will comprise a section-by-section explanation of the most widely used Free Software copyright license, the GNU General Public License, and will give lawyers, software developers, managers and business people the knowledge necessary to use the GPL (and GPL'ed software) successfully, with safety and predictability, both in businesses new to Free Software and in existing enterprises.

On August 25, GPL Compliance Case Studies will present the details of four different GPL compliance cases handled by FSF's GPL Compliance Lab. Each case offers unique insights into problems that can arise when the terms of the GPL are not properly followed, and how diplomatic negotiation between the violator and the copyright holder can yield positive results for both parties.

A continental breakfast and catered lunch will be served on both days.

Participants will get the fullest experience by enrolling in both courses, so FSF offers a discounted two-day package. However, those who have already taken the first course may certainly enroll for just the second day if they like.

Directions and information about lodging, travel, and other logistics will be sent following registration.

Registration Information
Book by August 1, 2004 for an early registration discount.

. . . . Pricing

  • Both Detailed Study and Analysis of the GPL and LGPL and GPL Compliance Case Studies (August 24 and 25)
  • $875 if paid on or before August 1, 2004 and $975 after August 1, 2004
  • Single day (August 24 or 25) [1]
  • $495 if paid on or before August 1, 2004 and $595 after August 1, 2004

FSF Corporate Patrons

Companies that have signed up as Corporate Patrons of FSF receive two complimentary seminar tickets per year that can each be redeemed for a one-day pass to this event. Patrons also get reduced rates for additional participants. Please contact patron@fsf.org for more details on becoming a patron. If you or your employer is a patron and would like to register, contact John Sullivan at johns @ fsf.org or 1+617-542-5942.

Day One: Detailed Study and Analysis of GPL and LGPL
August 24, 9 am to 6 pm

Attendees should have a general familiarity with software development processes. A basic understanding of how copyright law typically applies to software is also helpful.

The course is of greatest interest to lawyers, software developers and managers who run (or have clients who run) software businesses that modify and/or redistribute software under terms of the GNU GPL or LGPL, or who wish to make use of existing GPL'd and LGPL'd software in their enterprise.

Register by August 1 for lower tuition.

The course will include the topics listed below, along with ample time for questions and discussions.

  • Free Software Principles and the Free Software Definition
  • Preamble of the GNU General Public License (GPL)
  • [ Section 0 ] Definitions
  • [ Section 1 ] Grant for Verbatim Source Copying
  • Derivative Works: Statute and Case Law
  • [ Section 2 ] Grants for Source Derivative Works
  • [ Section 3 ] Grants for Creating Binary Derivative Works
  • The Implied Patent Grant in GPL
  • [ Section 4 ] Termination of License
  • [ Section 5 ] Acceptance of License
  • [ Section 6 ] Prohibition on Further Restrictions
  • [ Section 7 ] Conflicts with Other Agreements or Orders
  • [ Section 8 ] International Licensing Issues
  • [ Section 9 ] FSF as GPL's Stewards
  • [ Section 10 ] Copyright Holder's Exceptions to GPL
  • [ Section 11 ] Disclaimer of Warranties
  • [ Section 12 ] Limitation of Liability
  • Lesser General Public License (LGPL)

Day Two: GPL Compliance Case Studies
August 25, 9 am to 6 pm

Attendees should have completed the course Detailed Study and Analysis of GPL and LGPL, as the material from that course forms the building blocks for this material.

This course is of greatest interest to lawyers who have clients or employers who deal with Free Software on a regular basis. However, technical managers and executives whose businesses use or distribute Free Software will also find the course very helpful.

Register by August 1 for lower tuition.

The course will include the topics listed below, along with ample time for questions and discussions.

  • Overview of FSF's GPL Compliance Lab
  • Violation Case Study A
  • Explains how FSF deals with sometimes belligerent violators.
  • Violation Case Study B
  • Explains how smoothly violations can be resolved and the process that an otherwise friendly violator can expect.
  • Violation Case Study C
  • Problems faced regarding kernel modules for device drivers for government-regulated hardware, and cases where both an upstream provider and a downstream distributor are in violation on separate matters.
  • Violation Case Study D
  • Violations from a company committed to doing Free Software has occasional GPL violations or near-violations.
  • Good Practices for GPL Compliance


[1] Those who enroll in GPL Compliance Case Studies will have already completed Detailed Study and Analysis of the GPL and LGPL.


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