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Legal Affairs Committee

The Legal Affairs Committee was established under Section 4.15 of the OpenStack Foundation Bylaws:

The Legal Affairs Committee shall be an advisory committee to the Board of Directors and shall be comprised of no more than five (5) members. The Board of Directors shall appoint the members of Legal Affairs Committee. The Legal Affairs Committee shall advise the Board of Directors on the management of: (i) compliance with and enforcement of the Trademark Policy, (ii) strategies to promote the efficient intellectual property protection of the OpenStack Project, including without limitation, the resolution of patent and other intellectual property issues and disputes related to the Members’ use of the OpenStack Project, and (iii) all programs that the Board of Directors is considering relating to intellectual property management and protection.

In other words, the committee advises the board on IP policy issues but does not serve as its legal counsel. Mark Radcliffe and Lisa Miller serve as the foundation's legal counsel.

The current focus of the committee is the formulation of proposals for a patent policy for the foundation.


The committee consists of five "official members":

  • Alice King (Rackspace)
  • Andrew Sinclair (Canonical)
  • Brad Haque (Suse)
  • Nissa Strottman (HP)
  • Steve Pentlicki (ATT)

and a number of "auxiliary members":

  • Marc Ehrlich (IBM)
  • Richard Fontana (Red Hat)
  • Van Lindberg (Rackspace)


The committee holds regular phone conference meetings. Anyone willing to participate should contact Alice King.

  • <link to agenda>, <link to minutes>

legal-discuss Mailing List

The legal-discuss@lists.openstack.org mailing list is a forum for questions that have a legal aspect to them. These questions may concern (for example) licensing, third party packages, contributor agreement questions and trademark issues. The list will be used to build into an ad-hoc knowledge base about those thorny legal issues that most commonly effect the OpenStack project.

In other words, is has a similar intent to legal-discuss@apache.org, legal@lists.fedoraproject.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org, legal-list@gnome.org, etc.

Opinions expressed on this this list do not constitute legal advice from the OpenStack Foundation or the Legal Affairs Committee, unless explicitly stated.

Frequently Answered Questions

Members of the legal-discuss mailing list are working to build and maintain a set of Frequently Answered Questions on legal issues.