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Richard Fontana

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Richard Fontana
Occupation(s)Lawyer, Red Hat

Richard Fontana is a lawyer in the United States who is particularly known for his work in the area of open source and free software. Fontana works at Red Hat. Before Red Hat he was counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC).[1] In 2012 Fontana began drafting copyleft-next, a modification of the GNU General Public License, version 3 (GPLv3).[2][3][4] While at SFLC, Fontana was one of the three principal authors, along with Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen, of the GPLv3, the GNU Lesser General Public License, version 3 (LGPLv3), and the GNU Affero General Public License.[5][6] He is currently a member-elected director of the Open Source Initiative.[7]

Fontana attended Hunter College High School in New York City.[8] He received a bachelor's degree in history from Wesleyan University, a master's degree in computer science from Yale University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.[9]


  1. ^ "Red Hat Announces Key New Appointments to its Open Source Licensing & Intellectual Property Law Team" (PDF). Red Hat, inc. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  2. ^ "copyleft-next". July 9, 2012. Archived from the original on December 17, 2012.
  3. ^ "Small Copyleft.next Open Source Software License Project Attracts Big Interest". July 11, 2012.
  4. ^ "The next GPL: Why it's being shaped on GitHub (InfoWorld)". July 6, 2012.
  5. ^ "GPLv3 authors comment on final draft". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  6. ^ "The GPLv3 process: Public consultation and private drafting". Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  7. ^ OSI Welcomes Member-Elected Director, OSI
  8. ^ Hunter College High School#Alumni
  9. ^ "Legal Summit for Software Freedom – October 12, 2007 – Columbia Law School" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-08.