The first incarnation of the KOSS Legal Conference was a big success. There were many participants from a variety of backgrounds, such as
- Independent Korean legal experts
- Legal scholars from Korean law schools
- International legal experts (e.g. Till Jaeger, Carlo Piana, etc.)
- Representatives from the major Korean IT industry
- Representatives of the community organizations like FSFE
- Independent technical experts like Armijn Hemel and myself
The discussions have been a big success, with significant participation from the floor. There are many events that I attended where it was hard to actually get any participation from the audience - but the KOSS Law conference was definitely not one of them. Some of the questions were easy to respond to, some other questions really tackled the difficult issues in Free Software License Compliance.
What was clear to see from the Industry participants: FOSS License Compliance has become an important topic in the last couple of years: One the one hand as a result of virtually no TV set / mobile phone / PMP or other device running without Linux or other FOSS. On the other hand, I'm sure that the enforcement efforts of gpl-violations.org and the SFLC also have had significant impact on that.
What I personally find important is that compliance is only considered as part of the overall FOSS picture. Complying with the license text is the minimum that companies involved with FOSS should do. Rather, they should look beyond mere compliance and consider the benefit of engaging more actively with the community, contribute code back upstream/mainline and really becoming a first-class citizen of the Free Software world.
As a big surprise to everyone, Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation made a surprise visit towards the end of the second day of the conference.
Many thanks to the KOSS Law center for bringing this together and organizing such an event. Thanks also to the Korean NIPA (National IT Industry Promotion Agency) and the FSFE for their support of the event.