We talk about open source a lot at Red Hat, but other interesting things come up. Last week I had a burrito with my colleague Jake Sullivan, who graduated not long ago from the University of North Carolina with a major in American history. Although I'd been working with Jake for more than a year, I had not got around to comparing notes with him about historians. I mentioned a couple of dark chapters of the Civil War that I thought needed deeper scholarship. Jake assured me that there was significant work already out there, and even provided me with a reading list. It's great to find someone who knows all about something you want to learn about.
As we kick off the opensource.com law channel, I'm anticipating many such serendipitous encounters with people interested in the legal issues around free and open source software. This channel is intended as a forum for discussion of licensing, patent, trademark and other legal issues. Inspired by the collaborative spirit of free software, the law channel will invite thoughtful, careful, or just playful participation.
As open source develops and expands, there is certainly no shortage of fascinating legal issues to discuss. Where exactly will the discussion take us? Just as when I talked to Jake, I won't try to predict what interesting ideas will emerge, but I'm confident there will be surprises. Welcome to the site, and please consider sharing your thoughts.