Voting period for this idea type has passed

Negotiating Open Source

As the market for open source products expands beyond enthusiasts, it’s increasingly being adopted by companies and organizations unfamiliar or even uncomfortable with the GPL and other free and open source (FOSS) licenses. Part of the challenge we all face in “selling open source” is helping prospective clients understand the advantages of contributing back and becoming part of a free and open source software ecosystem.

Another challenge is dealing with with legacy intellectual property clauses in software development agreements that don't adequately reflect the realities of working with free and open source software.

In this session, I will discuss various approaches for discussing open source with your clients and negotiating GPL-friendly language into your agreements. While IANAL, I have sold projects and negotiated free and open source software contracts with clients of all sizes, including Fortune 100 corporations.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why should my client contribute (or let me contribute) code they pay me to write?
  2. Doesn’t using free and open source software undermine a company’s competitive advantage?
  3. What is work for hire and what does it mean for my patch?
  4. My client insists on a warranty. How do I limit the warranty to just my work and not all of the open source tools used on the project?
  5. Who should hold the copyright and why is copyright assignment important?



Tiffany Farriss, President,

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.

Show me another