License Clinic 2023

Open Source Initiative License Clinic

This one day workshop will cover advanced topics on open source software licenses of interest to the US federal government as well as emerging issues such as the confluence of AI models, licenses and data.  The workshop is in keeping with the Open Source Initiative’s (OSI) non-profit educational mission and has been created in collaboration with the D.C. legal and technology communities. The small and timely content-rich clinic offers an educational opportunity for attendees as well as an opportunity for the OSI to hear what’s top of mind for government practitioners. 

Who Should Attend?

The clinic is designed as a cross-industry, cross-community workshop for legal, contract, acquisition and program professionals who wish to deepen their understanding of open source software licenses, and raise their proficiency to better serve their organizations objectives as well as identify problems which may be unique to the government. 

When: Tuesday April 4, 2023 9:00 am - 4:00 pm eastern



  • Open Source 201 
  • Software Bill of Materials and Open Source



  • Open Source Licensing and AI/ML 
  • Alternative licenses, a landscape briefing
  • General Q&A
  • Close


OSI will host the workshop at the offices of its pro bono counsel.  This is a space-limited venue so early registration is encouraged.

DLA Piper 500 8th St NW Washington, DC 20004

Program Detail

“Open Source Licenses 201” - Pam Chestek This essential Clinic session is an advanced primer on open source licenses and why one should care, which are most commonly used and why.   Also included are insights into the OSI license process and who are involved in considering and approving new licenses based on Open Source Definition, plus which have been approved in the last five years. Topics include challenges, successes, best practices, operational policies, resources.The briefing is followed by an expert panel discussion. 

“SBOM This, and SBOM That” - Aeva Black Just a few years ago the notion of a Software Bill of Material (SBOM) was centered around open source licenses. How has it changed, and why is it increasingly being called out as a key component of software transparency by governments around the world?  The presenter will share a history of the SBOM, its evolution and role today in cybersecurity.  The session will be followed by a Q&A session.

"Are AI Models the New Open Source Projects?” - Justin Colannino Communities of machine learning developers are working together and creating thousands of powerful ML models under open source and other public licenses. But these licenses are for software, and ML is different. This briefing discusses how to square ML with open source software licenses and collaboration practices, followed by a panel discussion on the implications that ML and its growing communities have on the future open source of software development.

“Alternative Licenses”  - Luis Villa The past several years have seen an increase in the number of software licenses which appear to nod to open source software (OSS) licenses - those conforming with the Open Source Definition (OSD) - but are developed to meet different objectives, often withholding some benefits of OSS.  What are the emerging patterns in the creation of new licensing strategies?  The briefing offers a look at the current landscape and provides an opportunity to answer questions and discuss concerns.

Speakers and Expert Panelists - Biography

Aeva Black is passionate about privacy, ethics, and open source. They currently work in Azure's Office of the CTO and hold seats on the Board of the Open Source Initiative, on the Open Source Software Security Foundation (OpenSSF's) Technical Advisory Council, and a Shadow seat on the Board of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

Pam Chestek is a well-known and well-respected open source lawyer. She has been working in open source since 2008, first working at Red Hat and then in private practice as the principal of Chestek Legal. She was elected to the Board of Directors for the Open Source Initiative in 2019 and since then has served as the Chair of the License Committee. 

Justin Colannino is a lawyer representing clients at the intersection of free & open source software communities and for-profit enterprises. Justin currently serves on the Board of the Open Source Initiative. In his day job at Microsoft, he leads a small legal team that oversees processes to enable responsible open source engagement at massive scale.

Allan Friedman is Senior Advisor at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He coordinates the global cross-sector community efforts around software bill of materials (SBOM). Before joining the US government, Friedman spent over a decade as a security policy scholar at Harvard, George Washington University, and Brookings. 

Jacqueline Kazil  is a computational social scientist with a passion for open source and civic tech. She founded PyLadiesDC, GeoDC, and is a leader of PyLadies Int'l. She is an engineering leader in AI/ML & GIS, creator of the Python framework Mesa. She was a 2013 Presidential Innovation fellow, and currently serves on the Board of non-profit Byte Back. Today, she works with Bana Solutions to empower government agencies to deliver GIS tech solutions.

Stefano Maffulli is executive director, OSI.  He recently concluded hosting a comprehensive set of conversations with experts from all sectors of society on the topic of artificial intelligence and machine learning through OSI’s “DeepDiveAI” podcast series exploring the implications and impact for OSS. He has been a long-time OSS contributor and community leader.

Daniel Risacher is a policy wonk in the office of the Department of Defense CIO. Dan’s particular focus has been on the issues relating to use of open source software, cloud computing, and modernization of software.

Lus Villa is a lawyer, and former software developer, specializing in open source licensing, product counseling, technology transactions, and community strategy.  He is a board director emeritus and former license committee chair at OSI.  He is currently co-founder and general counsel at Tidelift.


One day workshop is free to attendees with a .gov or .mil email address or Professional OSI membership and is $250 for the general public.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, founded in 1998.

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