Overcoming Objections: Making the Case(s) for Copyleft Licensing of Corporate FOSS Projects
By Jessica Marz, Beth Flanagan, Deb Nicholson, Duane O'Brien

How can you best convince sometimes skeptical decision-makers that choosing a Copyleft license for your company's FOSS project is a sound choice? Building on a foundation gleaned from classic techniques used to overcome sales objections, this panel will discuss strategies to make the business case for Copyleft as part of your company's FOSS licenses for your company's FOSS initiatives.

Monday 2 p.m.–3 p.m.

If you're the resident FOSS expert at your company, you probably get asked all the time: "What license should we use for this?" Or perhaps you've got stakeholders who aren't even sure if releasing as FOSS is a good idea at all? Whatever your situation, delivering your sought-after advice is an opportunity to evangelize for Copyleft licensing—so let's discuss how to do it persuasively and effectively!

This panel will discuss common FOSS licensing objections and walk through promising lines of argument—drawn from disparate disciplines that range from political science to psychology to economics and points in between—to not only overcome those objections, but to potentially make Copyleft a company's preferred FOSS license.

Jessica Marz

Jessica Marz is Chief Open Source Compliance Officer within Intel's Open Source Technology Center and has been involved in corporate software legal compliance since becoming licensed to practice law. She summarizes the key responsibilities of her job as follows: “I explain legal things to software engineers, and software engineering things to lawyers.” As an avid arts-n-craftster and "re-mixer" of all sorts of material in her personal life, she was immediately attracted to the DIY ethos inherent in the philosophy of Free and Open Source Software. Jessica has been a speaker at events such as the Free Software Foundation Europe Legal & Licensing Workshop, FOSDEM, and various Linux Foundation conferences.

Beth Flanagan

Beth 'pidge' Flanagan is the CTO of Togán Labs, an embedded services provider in Limerick. She is an open source developer focusing on the open source embedded, IoT ecosystems and open source compliance.

Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson is a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. She is the Director of Community Operations at the Software Freedom Conservancy where she supports the work of its member organizations and facilitates collaboration with the wider free software community. She is also a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community. She lives with her husband and her lucky black cat in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Duane O'Brien

Duane O'Brien is the Head of Open Source at Indeed.com