IANYL and Other Basic Legal Concepts

This proposal has been rejected.


One Line Summary

Leveling the playing field: basic introduction to legal issues kernel developers talk about.


Legal issues permeate a surprisingly large amount of the discussions about Linux but many kernel developers don’t have any grounding in the basic legal concepts at play. This talk will provide a crash course on the core issues and provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions about issues they’ve heard about.

Areas that will be covered:

  • Basic introduction to copyright, trademark and patent laws
  • Nuts and bolts description of copyleft legal mechanics
  • A very tailored overview of contracts, including NDAs and Employment agreements
  • Description and differentiation of kinds of legal actions that have been brought around free and open source software.
  • Overview of legal ethics rules.


  • Kms4

    Karen Sandler

    Software Freedom Conservancy


    Karen M. Sandler is Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, the nonprofit home of dozens of essential free software projects, including the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Kernel Developers. She is known for her advocacy for free and open source software, particularly in relation to the software on medical devices. She was previously the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation. Karen co-organizes Outreachy (formerly Outreach Program for Women). She received an O’Reilly Open Source Award and is co-host of the oggcast “Free and in Freedom”. Karen is a lawyer, admitted to practice in the state of New York.