Defenders of Free Software in the Legal Sphere

Summary 

Why should you read this article?

Critiques 

Although Vance explains what legal FOSS volunteers undertake, he excludes how FOSS activists can contribute to the legal sphere. Additionally, the article excludes what contributor qualifications are needed or wanted. The article leaves out details about the effectiveness of the current volunteers, and does not predict if the solutions provided by the Linux Foundation will be effective in educating big companies on how to follow licenses. This point is important because most FOSS licenses are short and easy to follow. Lastly, some of the information Vance includes does not make sense for readers who do not understand business or law. For example, Vance states that “lawsuits are typically settled out of court,” but does not explain why a company would want to settle in or out of court.

Questions

  1. How can FOSS activists contribute to the FOSS legal sphere? 
  2. What qualifications and experience does Hemel have? What about other volunteers in FOSS law?   
  3. Why are FOSS lawsuits normally settled out of court?