Pamela Chestek, 2019

Last modified by Bruce Perens on 2019/03/15 08:44

ADACamp DCAbout Me

Hi, I’m Pam Chestek. I’m a trademark and copyright lawyer who has counseled the OSI, the Fedora project, the GNOME Foundation, and the Software Freedom Conservancy. I currently have both proprietary software clients and open source software clients, which gives me a view into both the corporate and community perspectives on open source.

I’ve been a lawyer for almost 20 years and I’ve been working in open source software for the past ten. My first job in software was for a proprietary software company. I then had the privilege of working at Red Hat, learning from people passionate about open source software and where I learned the field from the best, both the legal and licensing aspects and the community aspects. Now I am in private practice, working for myself.

Why I Am Running

The Licenses

OSI’s approval of a license can have a significant impact on its adoption and the success of the projects and companies using the license. License approval is also a process that considers the Open Source Definition in the larger context of the meaning and goals of open source philosophy. As software and technology change, the OSI has the challenge of making sure that the open source licensing model continues to fulfill the promise and goals inherent in open source. The OSI has recently been challenged with new licenses that stretch the bounds of what we have considered open source software and needs to take a strong stance at protecting the community from licenses that don’t meet the spirit or letter of the Open Source Definition while remaining open minded about revisiting the ways in which the OSI and OSD could better serve the community. I hope to use my training, skills and experience to help with that task.

Building Relationships

I also would work towards solidifying the relationships that OSI has with both the business and the ideological community. As one of the few lawyers actively representing the most ideological organizations in our community (including doing active GPL enforcement work) while also serving corporate clients who seek to understand their compliance obligations, I do not believe that the gap is as wide as it sometimes appears. If we truly work together, we can find a happy meeting ground.

Getting Things Done

When I volunteered to help GNOME defend their trademark against Groupon, I didn’t rest until Groupon changed the name of their product. It’s easy (and understandable) for volunteers to remain only casually engaged, but when I commit to a project I will work hard to make sure things get done. This is a critical time for OSI and we need a board that is committed to seeing open source succeed.

Beefy Miracle


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