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There is a dual reality surrounding the use of open source in businesses. For developers, open source code is everywhere, widely used, and an essential part of their day-to-day toolbox. For too many managers, directors, and CxOs, however, using open source seems to be just about compliance and risk.
There are a number of reasons why businesses use open source: It can help them to become more efficient, to establish a standard, or as a driver for other associated products and services. Understanding how to use open source effectively and strategically reduces costs and increases revenue. Focusing only on basic compliance keeps organizations from this higher, strategic use of open source.
This session will present a number of case studies showing how businesses have been able to make engaging with the open source community pay off – and will show why the freedoms granted under open source licenses are strategically important.
Van is a software engineer and practicing lawyer at Haynes and Boone, where he spends most of his time helping clients with patent and open source questions. His specialty is translating from “lawyer” to “engineer” and back.
Van has been involved with open source since 1994. He speaks and writes regularly on open source issues, and has been recognized as an authority on open source licensing. He published his first book on open source software and intellectual property law and is working on a second book addressing the economics of open source.
Before becoming a lawyer, Van was a research and development engineer at NTT/Verio, building automation tools and distributed systems. Van still writes software in his spare time. He is a member of and counsel for the Python Software Foundation and is currently chairman of PyCon.
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