Unigroup's September 2009 Meeting Announcement

Copyright and Copyleft Open Source Software Licensing

James E. Hanft,
Intellectual Property Attorney
Darby & Darby P.C.

Thursday, 17-SEP-2009      (** 3rd Thursday **)

The Cooper Union
School of Engineering   (*** NEW BUILDING ***)
41 Cooper Square    (3rd Avenue, between 6th & 7th Streets)
East Village, Manhattan
New York City
Meeting Room: 104
** Please RSVP **

6:15 - 6:30 PM Registration
6:30 - 6:45 PM Ask the Wizard - Questions, Answers and Current Events
6:45 - 7:00 PM Unigroup Business
7:00 - 9:30 PM Main Presentation


Unigroup's September 2009 meeting will be our first meeting at Cooper Union's new Engineering building, which is located on the East side of Cooper Square and 1-2 blocks South-East of the old Engineering building (which is now closed).

This building is brand new (just opened weeks ago), and as such, various construction is still underway, as everyone there gets things ready for the current school semester.

Unigroup is thankful that our sponsors at Cooper Union were able to take some time and find us meeting space for September, given everything that is happening over there right now.

Unigroup's September 2009 meeting will be a legal talk concerning Software Intellectual Property, focusing on Copyright and Copyleft Licensing (eg. Closed Source vs Open Source vs GPL vs BSD licensing). We are very pleased to have James Hanft, an Intellectual Property Attorney from Darby & Darby P.C., as our speaker this month.


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   Please RSVP as soon as possible, preferably at least 2-3 days
   prior to the meeting date, so we can plan the food order.
   RSVP deadline is usually the night before the meeting day.

   Note: RSVP is requested for this location to make sure the guard
         will let you into the building.  RSVP also helps us to
         properly plan the meeting (food, drinks, handouts,
         seating, etc.) and speed up your sign-in at the meeting.
         If you forget to RSVP prior to the meeting day, you may
         still be able to show up and attend our meeting, however,
         we cannot guarantee what building security will do if
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      The Cooper Union  (http://www.cooper.edu)
      School of Engineering  (*** New Building ***)
      41 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue, between 6th & 7th Streets)
      East Village, Manhattan
      New York City
      Meeting Room: 104

   Located on the East side of Cooper Square.  Look for the
   new building with the non-traditional appearance.
   Entrance is at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 7 Street.

   Building lobby sign-in is required at the guard's desk.
   Enter the building, check in with the guard at the lobby for
     directions to Unigroup and Room 104 (1st Floor).

   Nearest mass transit stations are:
     '6'           to Astor Place (stops right at The Cooper Union),
                   then walk 1 block East and 1 block South.
     'R'           to 8th Street, then walk about 2 blocks East
                   then 1 block South.
     '4/5/6/R/N/Q' to Union Square, then walk South and East.
     'B/D/F/V'     to Broadway-Lafayette, then walk North and East.

   Free street parking in the area becomes available at 6pm.

   There are also parking lots on Broadway, at (or just south of)
     Astor Place (8th Street).


Topic: Copyright and Copyleft Open Source Software Licensing


The presentation will cover software licensing and, in particular, the basis for copyleft licensing, its uses and its interaction with proprietary software. The presentation will start with the basics of intellectual property, emphasizing issues relating to copyrights and licensing of software. Next discussed is the legal basis for copyleft licensing and the differences between strong copylefts, weak copylefts and permissive licenses. Different copylefts will be analyzed including GNU, BSD, Mozilla, MIT and other general and/or limited licenses. The presentation will then cover the compatibility/incompatibility/interaction of these licenses with proprietary software. Finally, the discussion will cover the enforceability of other forms of protection such as open source promises, standards setting organizations and licensing provisions relating to other forms of intellectual property. Questions may be asked at any time.

Meeting Outline:

   I.   Basics For Intellectual Property Rights
        A.  Different Forms, Definitions and Differences Between Them
            1.  Patents
            2.  Copyrights
            3.  Trademarks
            4.  Trade Secrets
            5.  Licenses
        B.  Applicability to Software

   II.  Copyright Law in Software
        A.  Definition of a Copyright
        B.  Potential Coverage of Copyright In Software
        C.  Infringement of A Copyright In Software
        D.  Derivative Works
            1.  Definition
            2.  Existence of Derivative-Work Copyright
        E.  First Sale Doctrine
        F.  Fair Use Doctrine

   III. Licensing Basics
        A.  Rights That Can Be Licensed (Copyrights, Patents,
            Trade Secrets, Know-How, Materials, etc.)
        B.  Requirements For A License
        C.  Different Types of Licenses

   IV.  Protection of Access to Software
        A.  Definitions Of Software Access
            1.  Public Domain Software 
            2.  Copyright Protected Software:
                Proprietary and Copyleft
            3.  Enforcement of Rights Provided By Copyleft
        B.  Types of CopyLeft Licenses
            1.  GNU General Public License
            2.  GNU Lesser General Public License
            3.  Creative Commons (ShareAlike)
            4.  BSD LICENSE
            5.  Mozilla Public License
            6.  MIT License
            7.  Apache License
        C.  Choices/Differences and Conflicts Between Licenses
            1.  Consistency Between Licenses (eg. GNU GPL
                versions, Mozilla, etc.)
            2.  Choice of Appropriate License
            3.  Use of GNU Licensed Libraries/Resources
        D.  Conflicts with Proprietary Uses
            1.  Tivoization
            2.  Permissive Licenses/Weak CopyLefts/Strong Copylefts
            3.  Incorporating Copyleft Software Into Proprietary

   V.   Software Patents Versus Free Software Community
        A.  Standard Setting organizations
        B.  Open Promises

   VI.  Further Reading And Questions
        A.  URLs to various topics
        B.  Other References

Web Resources

   Darby & Darby P.C.

   US Copyright Office

   US Patent and Trademark Office

   GNU Licenses Web Site (nice listing of many open source licenses)


JAMES E. HANFT has represented a broad range of clients from Fortune 100 companies to individuals. He works closely with these clients to develop strategies that are tailored to meet the client's objectives and needs. Mr. Hanft has litigated numerous cases and counsels clients for their day-to-day intellectual property matters by providing litigation-related insights into determining patentability of potential inventions, authoring original applications, providing opinions of counsel, and developing and drafting complex licensing arrangements for his clients' portfolios.

In providing practical and cost-effective strategies for clients, Mr. Hanft draws on his technical background, including his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in digital electronics and software, and his experience as an engineer at one of the world's leading technology companies. Since joining Darby, Mr. Hanft has extended his technical expertise to include electronics, computer hardware, computer software, mechanical processes, medical devices, and business methods.


For more than 115 years, Darby & Darby P.C. has provided full-service intellectual property counsel to clients around the world. As one of the oldest U.S. intellectual property firms, Darby has long been an important player in pioneering and precedent-setting IP matters. Darby attorneys hold advanced technical degrees and have distinguished academic credentials with scientific expertise. Clients include private and public corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, individuals and non-profit organizations. Darby attorneys act as intellectual property strategists, counseling clients on how to maximize the value of their patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Intellectual property is not only a creative asset; it is often a crucial business asset. Darby's founders recognized this by developing a firm whose attorneys not only know the law and science, but understand business. Today through continued commitment to this principle, Darby is internationally recognized as a firm that applies extensive legal and technological expertise to the economic benefit of its clients.

For more information, please visit: http://www.darbylaw.com


Addison-Wesley Professional/Prentice Hall PTR has been kind enough to provide us with some of their books, which we will continue to raffle off as giveaways at our meetings. Addison-Wesley also has a new end-user discount, available through their User Group program. We will be announcing the details at our next meeting!

O'Reilly has been kind enough to provide us with some of their books, which we will continue to raffle off as giveaways at our meetings.

Unigroup would like to thank both companies for the support provided by their User Group programs.

Note: The chances tend to be about 1 in 5, that any attendee of our meeting will walk away with a fairly valuable giveaway (ie. many of these books are valued between $30 and $60)!

As always, all of the books will be available for review at the start of the meeting.


Unigroup is a Professional Technical Organization and User Group, and its members pay a yearly membership fee. For Unigroup members, there is usually no additional charges (ie. no meeting fees) during their membership year. Non-members who wish to attend Unigroup meetings are usually required to pay a "Single Meeting Fee".

         Yearly Membership (includes all meetings):      $ 50.00
         Student Yearly Membership (with current! ID):   $ 25.00
         Non-Member Single Meeting:                      $ 20.00
         Non-Member Student Single Meeting (with! ID):   $  5.00

       * Payment Methods: Cash, Check, American Express.

       ! Students: We are looking for proof that you are
         currently enrolled in classes (rather than working
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         containing NO dates whatsoever, and in the
         current environment, perpetual/non-expiring access
         to university facilities just does not feel right.
         If your ID contains no date, please bring
         additional proof of current enrollment.  Thanks,

NOTE: Simply receiving Unigroup Email Announcements does NOT indicate membership in Unigroup.


Complimentary Food and Refreshments will be served. This includes "wraps" such as turkey, roast beef, chicken, tuna and grilled vegetables as well as assorted salads (potato, tossed, pasta, etc), cookies, brownies, bottled water and assorted beverages.

Unigroup would like to thank Darby & Darby P.C. for sponsoring the food service for this meeting.

Please join us for this meeting, you won't want to miss it!

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