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Legal Affairs Committee

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

Legal Affairs Committee. The Legal Affairs Committee shall be an advisory committee to the Board of Directors and shall meet the standards of the Legal Affairs Committee adopted by the Board of Directors. 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 TC Approved Release, including without limitation, the resolution of patent and other intellectual property issues and disputes related to the Members’ use of the OpenStack TC Approved Release, 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 committee currently consists of the following members, listed along with affiliation:

  • Nissa Strottman (HP) (Chair)
  • Feb Cabrasawan (IBM)
  • Richard Fontana (Red Hat)
  • Brad Haque (Suse)
  • Van Lindberg (Rackspace)
  • Ted McCullough (EMC)
  • Dale Mohlenhoff (Cisco)
  • Steve Pentlicki (AT&T)
  • George Simion (NetApp)
  • Andrew Sinclair (Canonical)
  • Rob Tiller (Red Hat)

Eileen Evans (HP) is Board Liaison for the committee.


The committee holds phone conference meetings at least quarterly. Anyone wishing to participate should contact Nissa Strottman.

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

legal-discuss Mailing List

The legal-discuss@lists.openstack.org mailing list (not specifically associated with the Legal Affairs Committee) 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 anyone else.

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.