As a developer and user of open source code, you interact with software and digital media every day. What is often overlooked are the rights and responsibilities conveyed by the intellectual property that is implicit in all creative works. Software licenses are a complicated legal domain in their own right, and they can often conflict with each other when you factor in the web of dependencies that your project relies on. In this episode Luis Villa, Co-Founder of Tidelift, explains the catagories of software licenses, how to select the right one for your project, and what to be aware of when you contribute to someone else’s code.
This episode of Podcast.__init__ is brought to you by Clubhouse, the first project management platform for software development that brings everyone together so that teams can focus on what matters – creating products their customers love. Clubhouse provides the perfect balance of simplicity and structure for better cross-functional collaboration. Its fast, intuitive interface makes it easy for people on any team to focus-in on their work on a specific task or project, while also being able to “zoom out” to see how that work is contributing towards the bigger picture. With a simple API and robust set of integrations, Clubhouse also seamlessly integrates with the tools you use everyday, getting out of your way so that you can deliver quality software on time.
Listeners of Podcast.__init__ can sign up for two free months of Clubhouse by visiting pythonpodcast.com/clubhouse.
Do you want to try out some of the tools and applications that you heard about on Podcast.__init__? Do you have a side project that you want to share with the world? With Linode’s managed Kubernetes platform it’s now even easier to get started with the latest in cloud technologies. With the combined power of the leading container orchestrator and the speed and reliability of Linode’s object storage, node balancers, block storage, and dedicated CPU or GPU instances, you’ve got everything you need to scale up. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode today and get a $100 credit to launch a new cluster, run a server, upload some data, or… And don’t forget to thank them for being a long time supporter of Podcast.__init__!
- Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
- When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
- And to keep track of how your team is progressing on building new features and squashing bugs, you need a project management system designed by software engineers, for software engineers. Clubhouse lets you craft a workflow that fits your style, including per-team tasks, cross-project epics, a large suite of pre-built integrations, and a simple API for crafting your own. Podcast.__init__ listeners get 2 months free on any plan by going to pythonpodcast.com/clubhouse today and signing up for a trial.
- Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email email@example.com)
- To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, tell your friends and co-workers, and share it on social media.
- Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
- Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Luis Villa about software licensing and intellectual property rules that developers need to know
- How did you get started as a programmer?
- Intellectual property law and licensing of software, data, and media are complicated topics that are often poorly understood by developers. Can you start off by giving an overview of categories of intellectual property that we should be thinking of?
- Most of us who have created or used software, whether it is open or closed source, have at some point come across various licenses. What may not be immediately obvious is that there are degrees of compatibility between these licenses. What are some guiding principles for determining which licenses are in conflict?
- In an organization, who is responsible for ensuring compliance with software and content licensing within a given project?
- When introducing new dependencies into a project or system what steps should be taken to evaluate license compatibility and compliance?
- When creating a new project, one of the steps in the process is to select a license. What are some useful guidelines or questions to determine which license to use?
- Another aspect of software licensing that developers might run into is when contributing to an open source project where a contributor license agreement might be necessary. What should we be thinking about when deciding whether to sign such an agreement?
- In addition to software libraries, developers might need to use content such as images, audio, or video in their projects which have their own copyright and licensing considerations. What are some of the things that we should be looking for in those situations?
- What should we be wary of when using or providing data in our applications?
- How much of the work that you do at Tidelift is spent on educating developers and customers on the finer points of intellectual property management?
- What are some of the most common difficulties or points of confusion that you encounter?
- What are some useful resources that you would recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about intellectual property and software licensing?
Keep In Touch
- Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide To Protecting Code by Van Lindberg
- Apple //e
- OSI Approved Licenses
- Permissive Licenses
- Strong and Weak Copyleft
- SSPL (Server Side Public License)
- OSI (Open Source Initiative)
- Contributor License Agreement
- FSF (Free Software Foundation)
- DCO (Developer Certificate of Origin)
- Creative Commons
- Noun Project
- Free Music Archive
- Wikimedia Commons
- TL;DR Legal