Eben Moglen, the attorney for the Free Software Foundation, is leaving the board of the organization to focus on teaching and other free software projects.
Moglen said that he chose to step down now because the General Public License version 3 is near completion.
The GPL, which is maintained by the Free Software Foundation, is used for thousands of open-source and free software packages. Creation of GPL version 3 has been contentious at times, bringing criticisms from proprietary and open-source participants for its restrictions around patents and digital rights management.
"But this long drafting project, which has displaced most of the rest of my professional life (and, it sometimes seems, all of my personal life as well) is winding down at last. Which means it's time to return to some of what I've missed. Writing and teaching, for example. Time to reorganize time," Moglen wrote in his blog on Monday.
He said that he will spend more of his time at the Software Freedom Law Center where he said lawyers are doing innovative work in creating structures that allow free software projects to collaborate with minimal overhead.
Moglen has been at the Free Software Foundation since 2000 and in many ways has been, along with free software advocate Richard Stallman, the public face of the General Public License version 3.