If you're an open-source developer, OSCON is the closest you'll come to Mecca, whatever your religious persuasion. But OSCON has been branching out in the past few years, and this year, for the first time, it includes a a one-day, free seminar focusing on significant legal issues, called "Understanding Legal Issues in Open Source."
Given the revived interest in open-source licensing and the impact it can have on one's project or business, this strikes me as a "must attend" event.
The seminar isn't part of the official OSCON proceedings, but is free and open to all, and is right next door at the San Jose Marriott (room Willow Glen 1)on Wednesday, July 22, and is being organized by OSCON chair Allison Randal along with Mark Radcliffe of DLA Piper and the Open Source Initiative.
The sessions include pertinent topics like "Understanding Venture Capital Investments in Open Source Projects," "Choosing a License: Ensuring that Your Intellectual Property Strategy Matches Your Goals," "Basic Legal Issues for Open Source Projects," and "Demystifying GPL Enforcement: Using the Law To Uphold Copyleft."
Speakers include Vicky Lee, DLA Piper; Josh Stein, Draper Fisher & Jurvetson; Mark Gorenberg, Hummer Winblad; Vivek Mehra, August Capital; Larry Rosen, Rosenlaw & Einschlag; Bradley Kuhn, President, Software Freedom Conservancy; Aaron Williamson, Software Freedom Law Center; and Larry Augustin, CEO, SugarCRM.
In my experience negotiating contracts to license open-source software, it's clear to me that more education like this is needed for developers, lawyers, business executives, and others in the wider open-source community. If you're anywhere near San Jose on Wednesday, you really should consider attending this one-day legal seminar.