Report from FSFE FTF Licensing and Legal workshop

I'm on seven-hour train ride back from Amsterdam, where I've been attending the first Licensing and Legal workshop of the Freedom Task Force (FTF) of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

While having a somewhat lengthy name, the FTF has been doing great work on bringing together a large group of legal and technical experts in the field of Free Software licensing. So far this was all 'virtual', happening on mailing lists.` The meeting in Amsterdam was the first of its kind, and was a huge success.

By the nature of the FSFE, most of the people were from Europe, though there were attendees from the US and even Australia, too.

There were many interesting and surprisingly interactive workshops. It was also a good opportunity to meet Armijn (the second half of and Shane (full-time manager of the FSFE FTF), as well as many lawyers, both corporate legal counsel and from law firms.

The interest in Armijns presentation about and Till Jaeger's overview about the legal cases we've handled over the years in Germany were very well received and there was more interest and questions than the short time permitted.

What was really good for me to see is that large consumer electronics companies in Europe and the US are now implementing internal business processes to ensure GPL and other FOSS license compliance. They're also increasingly using very clear contractual language throughout their supply chain to minimize the potential risk of any "hidden" GPL surprises in products they source from OEM/ODM companies.