Skip to main content

Open Source and Free Software 2012: Benefits, Risks and Challenges

Speaker(s): Adam G. Cohn, Daniel Berlin, Eduardo Gutentag, Gabriel K. Holloway, Geoffrey Creighton, Gervase Markham, Gwyn Firth Murray, Jeffrey Danley, Karen F. Copenhaver, Lawrence Rosen, Luis Villa, Marc G. Visnick, Mario Madden, Nissa Strottman
Recorded on: Dec. 5, 2012
PLI Program #: 35753

Eduardo Gutentag worked for Sun Microsystems from 1988 until Sun was acquired by Oracle in 2010, and worked for Oracle since then until early 2012.

Unlike some who work in IPR and policy issues surrounding standards development, he has actually worked, hands on, in the development of standards in a variety of organizations.

The following stand out among his accomplishments:

  • He coordinated Sun's participation in the first WWW Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1994, contributed to the establishment of W3C and participated in the development of HTML2 in the IETF.
  • He actively represented Sun in two of the IT industry's most influential standards developing organizations, W3C and OASIS, culminating in being elected by their membership many times to the W3C Advisory Board and to the OASIS Board of Directors (which he chaired from 2005 to 2009).
  • He was instrumental in bringing the OpenOffice format (ODF) for standardization at OASIS, and was instrumental in creating Sun's non-assertion covenant for, the first such at OASIS, which was later on copied by other companies but with severe limitations.
  • He participated in the creation of OASIS's standardization process directives, and was instrumental in the creation of its current IPR policy.
  • He participated in the creation of the W3C's IPR policy, and later participated in the IPR-related interest group in that organization, as perhaps the only participant who was not a lawyer.
  • He helped UN/CEFACT establish its current IPR policy (non-assertion), helped explain it to its members, and has been a special advisor to its Bureau since 2009.

Karen F. Copenhaver is a partner in Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP's Business & Technology Group. Her practice focuses on technology transfer and licensing of intellectual property, particularly in the areas of software licensing and open source business models. Karen is the Director of Intellectual Property Strategy for the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux, and serves as an advisor to Black Duck Software, Inc., where she was instrumental in establishing automated methods of software compliance management as an industry best practice. Before joining Black Duck, Karen was a partner in the Patent and Intellectual Property Group of Testa, Hurwitz & ThibeaultLLP from 1994 through 2004. She began her legal career in 1979 at IBM Corporation and served as, among other positions, site counsel for the IBM Microelectronics Division, Semiconductor Design and Manufacturing facility in Essex Junction, Vermont. She was a Partner at Brown & Bain LLP in Phoenix, AZ and Palo Alto, CA from 1991 through 1994. Karen has served as an adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School in the field of Computer Law, lectured at Suffolk's Advanced Legal Series conferences on copyright law and sophisticated licensing issues, and served as chair for the Practicing Law Institute's annual conference on Structuring, Negotiating and Implementing Strategic Alliances.

Karen is a frequent speaker on issues relating to technology licensing and open source software. Karen Copenhaver is listed in The International Who's Who of Internet & e-Commerce Lawyers, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer. She has been named the 2012 Boston "Lawyer of the Year" for Information Technology Law by Best Lawyers and was also named in The Legal 500 for technology transactions. Ms. Copenhaver is only the 5th lawyer ever to receive Mass High Tech's prestigious "Mass High Tech All-Stars Award," which honors the thought leaders and innovators throughout the New England technology sector. She has been chosen by Intellectual Asset Management magazine as one of the world's top IP strategists in their feature "lAM 250-A Guide to the World's Leading IP Strategists." She has also been named a top patent and technology licensing practitioner in "lAM Licensing 250" and a world's leading patent practitioner in "lAM Patent 1000."

Ms. Copenhaver is also director of intellectual property strategy for the Linux Foundation.

Daniel Berlin is an attorney with Google's Open Source Program Office, where he is responsible for Google's open source licensing and license compliance work. He also advises several open source projects and related non-profits. He is also an avid open source contributor, having contributed to a large number of open source projects over the years, and is a maintainer of for several well known open source compilers (GCC, LLVM). He holds a law degree from George Washington University, and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Rochester.


Geoffrey M. Creighton is a Senior Attorney in Microsoft's Corporate Standards Group, which is responsible for Microsoft's legal, strategic, and policy engagements worldwide regarding technology standards and interoperability among computing platforms.

His current engagements include work in support of the Patents and Standards Interest Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the governing boards of standards-development organizations such as the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), Advanced Message Queuing Protocol consortium (, Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Object Management Group (OMG), Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and legal support for those engaged at ISO/IEC, the China Electronics Standards Institute (CESI), and others.

Before joining Microsoft in 2007 Geoffrey was, among other things, a small-company general counsel (Global IP Sound, a Voice over IP software developer), medium-sized-company chief counsel (ZD Events, producers of COMDEX), large-company licensing counsel (Sun Microsystems Inc.), and a trade-secrets litigator (McCutchen Doyle Brown and Enersen, now known as Bingham McCutchen). He co-authored a chapter in the California Continuing Education of the Bar treatise on trade secrets, and has given presentations at the national meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel, among other professional activities. Before attending law school he spent a couple of years in the publishing industry.

Geoffrey is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Michigan Law School, and is a member of the California Bar.

Jeff Danley

Law School: University of California, Berkeley

Work History

  Mr. Danley is an associate and trial lawyer in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett's Palo Alto office, with a practice focused on intellectual property. He has practiced in California since 2005 and has represented major technology companies in cases involving electronics, computer software, communications networks, and semiconductor design and fabrication. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Danley received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and his Masters in Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mario  Madden is the lead for Microsoft's Open Source Legal Group, which counsels Microsoft's product groups on OSS legal and community issues and oversees Microsoft's OSS legal policies and management/compliance infrastructure. Prior to his current role, Mario was the Open Source Research and Policy Lead for Microsoft's Platform Community Strategy Team, specializing in academic and legal outreach. Before joining Microsoft, he was Senior Counsel at the Seattle office of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt where he focused on complex civil litigation and appeals. 

Mario is a member of the Washington and Oregon Bars. He holds a J.D. from Willamette University College of Law and an M.A. and B.A. in philosophy from the University of Arizona.

Gervase Markham works for Mozilla, the open source software project behind Firefox, Thunderbird, Firefox OS and other initiatives to keep the web open and free. His 13 years with the project have led to the acquisition of an eclectic range of responsibilities, but he is currently focussed on issues of project governance, licensing and trademarks - hence his business-card title, "Governator". He is the first port of call for copyright questions within Mozilla, and was one of the team working on the recently-released Mozilla Public License 2.0.

He has no formal legal training, but describes himself as Mozilla's jailhouse lawyer.

He lives in Sheffield, UK, with his wife and three children (one not yet born). He is a follower of Jesus, a lover of good cheese, and a supporter of Liverpool FC. His website is

Lawrence Rosen is both an attorney and a computer specialist. He is founding partner of Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm that specializes in intellectual property protection, licensing and business transactions for technology companies.

In addition to this law practice, Larry also served for many years as general counsel of the non-profit Open Source Initiative (OSI). He currently advises many open source companies and non-profit open source projects, including as member of and counsel to Apache Software Foundation and as a member of the board of directors of Open Web Foundation.

Larry currently serves on the board of directors of International Characters, and on the advisory boards of SpikeSource, Black Duck Software, and Jaspersoft. Larry's book, Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law, was published by Prentice Hall in 2004. He is a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.

Before he became an attorney, Larry was a computer technologist. He managed computer activities and taught computer programming and data base design at Stanford University, later going into industry where he coordinated the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of data communications products. In addition to helping bring a number of technology companies to profitability, Larry also served for many years as chair and member of the board of directors of Silicon Valley Credit Union, and has helped form and served on the boards of several non-profit charitable and mutual benefit organizations. He received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, went to graduate school in computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his law degree from Santa Clara University. His law firm has offices in Ukiah and Los Alto Hills, California, and on the web.

Larry often publishes and speaks around the world on open source and intellectual property issues.

Adam Cohn is Senior Counsel at Evernote Corporation.  Adam has lived and worked in the Bay Area since 2000, starting out at Sun Microsystems, and later serving as Legal Director at Cisco, where he owned legal support for the company’s open source licensing policies and practices.  Before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Adam spent several years at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC, filing some of the Commission's first internet cases and leading the Commission's telecommunications fraud team.  Adam is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has a BA from Cornell University.

Gabriel Holloway is an attorney based in Minneapolis Minnesota in Leonard, Street and Deinard's intellectual property/information technology practice group. He has a diverse practice that includes technology transfers, intellectual property licensing, and patent litigation. Gabe's non-legal experience includes software development with C++, C, Java, IDL and Python in Windows, Mac OS and UNIX environments.

Gwyn Firth Murray is founder and principal of the Matau Legal Group, which offers a broad range of commercial, licensing, and other legal services to both start-up and established companies in the high tech and biotech industries in the United States and internationally (see One of the “early adopters” in the legal community with respect to free and open source software issues, she also is co-founder of Open Bar, Inc., a not-for-profit organization focused on legal rights and responsibilities in the world of open source software.

Gwyn has spent over twenty years working as inside and outside counsel to computer hardware, computer software and pharmaceutical companies, including Apple Computer, SGI, and Alza Corporation. While at SGI, she served as the chief lawyer supporting SGI’s Latin America and Canada businesses, where her responsibilities included setting up and equipping subsidiary offices, drafting and negotiating computer sales, service, and support agreements throughout the region, and managing all legal aspects of the regional offices’ businesses. Gwyn was the first lawyer to join VA Linux Systems, Inc. (now “Geeknet”) as internal counsel, and she served as Vice President, Legal Services for VA during its first year as a public company. After leaving VA, she went on to become Vice President and General Counsel of Kanisa Inc., a privately-held software company based in Cupertino, California, before undertaking her own law practice.

Gwyn is a graduate of Stanford University Law School, and also holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. She obtained her B.A. magna cum laude and with distinction in economics from Yale College. Gwyn is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Marc Visnick is a forensic software analyst and attorney based in Portland, Oregon, and a senior consultant with Johnson-Laird, Inc. He specializes in forensic software analysis for patent, copyright and trade secret litigation, as well as software due diligence, independent development project design and supervision, and electronic evidence preservation, recovery and analysis. Mr. Visnick is past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Computer and Internet Law Section.

Nissa Strottman is an intellectual property and technology transactions attorney. She is
currently a Vice President in Visa’sTechnology, IP, Strategic Partnerships and
Innovation group, where works on technology and technology issues, including open
source. Prior to joining Visa, she worked on technology, intellectual property, product,
commercial, and open source matters for Micro Focus, Hewlett Packard Enterprise,
Hewlett-Packard Company, Cisco Systems, and Sun Microsystems. Before going inhouse,
she was in private practice at a patent boutique in Silicon Valley. Nissa received
her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, an M.A. from the
Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Luis Villa Co-founder and General Counsel of Tidelift. 

Prior to founding Tidelift, Luis was Deputy General Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, handling a variety of issues, including open source and open data licensing. Formerly, he was an associate in the Palo Alto office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where he represented Google in the Google-Oracle trial, and advised licensing clients that included Amazon, Facebook, and a variety of startups. He also led the revision of the Mozilla Public License for the Mozilla Foundation. Luis is also a director and chair of the Licensing Committee for the Open Source Initiative. Before practicing law, Luis was an engineer and manager at a successful open source startup and "geek in residence" for a year at the Berkman Center for Internet, Law, and Society at Harvard Law School.