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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.