Friday, January 12, 2007

Suggestions wanted for intellectual property talk

Seen in a comp.lang.python post:

I will be presenting a talk at PyCon, "The Absolute Minimum an Open Source Developer Needs to Know About Intellectual Property." I want to tailor this talk so that it is interesting to as many attendees as possible.

I am familiar with a lot of the internal divisions in the Free Software/Open Source community. My intent is not to advocate for or against any specific position, but rather to promote a common understanding and address specific situations that developers may
encounter. In other words, a problem/solution approach, instead of an argumentative approach.

With that in mind, I had in mind the following subjects:

- A brief primer on intellectual property (what are patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets?)

- What to do when you have an idea you want to develop, but you are working for somebody else

- What it means to incorporate GPL'd modules into your own code

- Ways to protect ideas that you have put into a proprietary software product

- Ways to avoid, work around, or mitigate the effect of software patents

- Licensing, using, and distributing software (comparing and contrasting the GPL, BSD, and Python licenses)

I am interested in hearing about 1) other topics of interest, and 2) the relative level of interest in each topic. To keep within the time limits for my talk, I intend to address the most popular topics in roughly the order of their popularity.


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