[FOSDEM] Legal and Policy Issues DevRoom at FOSDEM 2015: CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Bradley M. Kuhn
bkuhn at ebb.org
Thu Oct 16 18:56:41 CEST 2014
Call For Participation
Legal and Policy Issues DevRoom at FOSDEM 2015
CONFERENCE DATE: Saturday 31 January 2015 in Brussels, Belgium
CFP DEADLINE: Monday 17 November 2014 at 12:00 UTC
SPEAKERS NOTIFIED: Wednesday 26 November 2014 (on or before)
Open Source and Free Software are possible as a result of hacks on
copyright law. Patent and trademark law and the emerging law of data
privacy and security also dramatically affect Free Software development.
Governance and policies around free software set the rules for
collaboration and can be critical to a project's success.
Our community has more expertise in this area than you think! The
constant mantra of "you'd have to ask a lawyer" has, in our view, given
way to the undeniable fact that many participants in Free Software
development (both lawyers and non-lawyers are alike) *are* the experts.
This DevRoom seeks proposals for 15, 25, 40 and 50 minute talks and/or
panel discussions that address the issues of software freedom project
policies that are beyond and/or orthogonal to technical issues of the
project. Such topics could include, but aren't necessarily limited to:
* Who controls the copyright, trademark, or patent licensing, release
plans, or security bug reporting policies of your project, and why?
What challenges have you faced in these policy areas and how are you
seeking to change it?
* How is your project governed? Do you have a non-profit organization,
or a for-profit company that primarily controls your project, or
neither? Do you wish your project governance was different? Who
decided your governance initially? What politics (good and bad)
have occurred around your governance choices and how have you
changed your policy?
* Legal topics of all sorts and their interaction with software
freedom culture and work remain welcome, and could include: How does
your project make use of legal advice? What legal advice do you
give projects and what topics do you put first on the list to worry
about in projects? Discuss in detail a legal and/or policy issue a
project faced and how did your community deal with it? What lessons
did you learn?
* Contribution and engagement policies: how does your project engage
new contributors and what policy decisions did your project make to
welcome new contributors? What legal issues or policy concerns has
your project faced historically in its community engagement efforts,
and what did you learn from these experiences?
* How does money impact your community? Are all your developers paid?
What policies do you set to welcome volunteers to join a community
where most developers are paid? Does reliance on volunteer labor
lead to lack of diversity since only the affluent can participate?
* How do projects handle conflicts of interest and make sure
that relevant interests of contributors are disclosed in important
decision making discussions?
* Case studies of positive examples of commercial actors in Free
Regarding topic relevancy, here's the only "don't": please don't propose
introductory talks; there are other venues appropriate for those.
FOSDEM is the meeting place of experts in Open Source and Free Software
project governance, law, and policy. This DevRoom is for intermediate
to advanced topics surrounding just about anything you might call a
"legal" or "policy" issue for your project!
Should I Submit?
However, do consider that what may seem elementary to you may in fact be
an intermediate topic in this area. In particular, while we expect many
submissions from lawyers, we've found in our careers that non-lawyers
often know just as much (and sometimes more) about these topics than
lawyers. Developers who regularly face complex policy and legal
questions for projects are strongly and particularly encouraged to
submit proposals. Historically, some of the most lively and intriguing
talks in this DevRoom's previous years have been from developers who
have been thrust (often due to circumstances beyond their control) into
dealing with legal and policy topics for Open Source and Free Software.
Be sure to look at past talks in our DevRoom for inspiration:
CFP Schedule And Submission Details
Submit proposals NO LATER THAN Monday 17 November 2014 at 12:00 UTC
Capricious rejection of late submissions may occur. YMMV. Talk to
your doctor before choosing to submit a late proposal.
Please use the following URL to submit your talk to FOSDEM 2015:
and follow the following rules:
* Select as the Track "Legal and policy issues devroom".
* Include a title. (Note that "Subtitle" entry doesn't appear on
all conference documents, so make sure "Title" can stand on its
own without "Subtitle" present.)
* Include an Abstract of about 500 characters and a full description
of any length you wish, but in both fields, please be concise, but
clear and descriptive.
* Indicate whether you seek a 15, 25, 40, or 50 minute slot. NOTE:
the quality of the submission needs to be progressively *more
impressive* the longer time you ask for and we may accept your
submission with an alternate duration as our schedule is so tight.
* Use the "Links" sub-area to your past work in the field you'd like
to share. Particularly helpful are recordings (audio/video) of
your past talks on the subject or past papers/blog posts you've
written on the subject.
* Affirmative confirmation that you agree to CC-By-SA-4.0 or
Cc-By-4.0 licensing of your talk, in the "Submission Notes"
field. Add a statement such as this:
"Should my presentation be scheduled for FOSDEM 2015, I hereby
agree to license all recordings, slides and any other
materials presented under the Creative Commons Attribution
Share-Alike 4.0 International license. Sincerely, s/YOUR_NAME/"
* Also in the notes field, note your affirmative confirmation of
availability to speak on Saturday 31 January 2015 in Brussels. (You
may include time slots of non-availability on Saturday, but this may
negatively impact acceptance decisions.)
Failure to follow these instructions above (and those on the FOSDEM
2015 site) may result in automatic rejection of your talk submission.
However, if you have trouble with submission via the official system,
please do contact <fosdem-legal-policy at faif.us> for assistance.
Travel Funding does not exist (sadly)!
We are volunteer track organizers of a volunteer conference. We
cannot sponsor travel ourselves. However, please *do* submit anyway
if you aren't sure about your travel funding and mention in your
application that you have uncertainties. Please note that we may have
to deny your proposal due to lack of travel funding alone, but we
would like the opportunity to talk and discuss the situation with
highly exceptional speakers who would like to join our DevRoom but
can't due to lack of funding.
The organizers of this DevRoom are committed to increasing the
diversity of the free software movement, and to making the diversity
that already exists more visible. To that end, our CFP process takes
demographic information into account in order to build a program that
features as many different voices and perspectives as possible.
Please share any demographic information about yourself in the
"Submissions Notes" field that you are comfortable sharing. Such
disclosure is not mandatory by any means.
No Assurance of Acceptance
The organizers (listed below) realize many of our friends and
colleagues will respond to this CFP. Based on our many previous years
of experience in this DevRoom, we must welcome submissions from all,
but an invitation from any of us to submit is *not* an assurance of
acceptance. We typically must make hard decisions, and since our
DevRoom is one day rather than two this year, the decisions will be
About the DevRoom Organizers
The co-organizers of the FOSDEM 2015 Legal and Policy Issues DevRom are
(in alphabetical order by surname):
- Richard Fontana, Member of Board of Directors of the Open Source
Initiative and Associate General Counsel, Hewlett-Packard
- Bradley M. Kuhn, Member of Board of Directors of the Free Software
Foundation and President and Distinguished Technologist, Software
- Tom Marble, Creative Technologist, Informatique, Inc.
- Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the Software Freedom
Conservancy and Director of the GNOME Foundation and Pro Bono
General Counsel of QuestionCopyright.org
You are welcome to contact us all at <fosdem-legal-policy at faif.us> with
questions about this CFP.
More information about the FOSDEM