Cover art for podcast The Python Podcast.__init__

The Python Podcast.__init__

100 EpisodesProduced by Tobias MaceyWebsite

The podcast about Python and the people who make it great


What You Need To Know About Open Source Licenses And Intellectual Property


As a developer and user of open source code, you interact with software and digital media every day. What is often overlooked are the rights and responsibilities conveyed by the intellectual property that is implicit in all creative works. Software licenses are a complicated legal domain in their own right, and they can often conflict with each other when you factor in the web of dependencies that your project relies on. In this episode Luis Villa, Co-Founder of Tidelift, explains the catagories of software licenses, how to select the right one for your project, and what to be aware of when you contribute to someone else’s code.

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. Go to to get a $20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • And to keep track of how your team is progressing on building new features and squashing bugs, you need a project management system designed by software engineers, for software engineers. Clubhouse lets you craft a workflow that fits your style, including per-team tasks, cross-project epics, a large suite of pre-built integrations, and a simple API for crafting your own. Podcast.__init__ listeners get 2 months free on any plan by going to today and signing up for a trial.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, tell your friends and co-workers, and share it on social media.
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Luis Villa about software licensing and intellectual property rules that developers need to know
  • Introductions
  • How did you get started as a programmer?
  • Intellectual property law and licensing of software, data, and media are complicated topics that are often poorly understood by developers. Can you start off by giving an overview of categories of intellectual property that we should be thinking of?
  • Most of us who have created or used software, whether it is open or closed source, have at some point come across various licenses. What may not be immediately obvious is that there are degrees of compatibility between these licenses. What are some guiding principles for determining which licenses are in conflict?
    • In an organization, who is responsible for ensuring compliance with software and content licensing within a given project?
    • When introducing new dependencies into a project or system what steps should be taken to evaluate license compatibility and compliance?
  • When creating a new project, one of the steps in the process is to select a license. What are some useful guidelines or questions to determine which license to use?
  • Another aspect of software licensing that developers might run into is when contributing to an open source project where a contributor license agreement might be necessary. What should we be thinking about when deciding whether to sign such an agreement?
  • In addition to software libraries, developers might need to use content such as images, audio, or video in their projects which have their own copyright and licensing considerations. What are some of the things that we should be looking for in those situations?
  • Another component of our systems that has grown in its importance with the rise of advanced analytics is data. We may need to use open data sources, pay for access to data repositories, or provide access to data that is under our control. What are some common approaches to licensing or terms of use for these contexts?
    • What should we be wary of when using or providing data in our applications?
  • How much of the work that you do at Tidelift is spent on educating developers and customers on the finer points of intellectual property management?
    • What are some of the most common difficulties or points of confusion that you encounter?
  • What are some useful resources that you would recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about intellectual property and software licensing?
Keep In Touch Picks Links

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to The Python Podcast.__init__


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens