I’m a lawyer, executive, and (former) software developer, specializing in open source licensing, product counseling, technology transactions, and community strategy.
What am I up to?
I’m currently the co-founder of Tidelift, where we’re creating a new way to support and use open source software.
About me: work
Before Tidelift, I was lucky to work on some of the most high-profile technology projects in the world, including:
- At the Wikimedia Foundation, I served as Deputy General Counsel, advising on product development, IP licensing, and many other aspects of the Foundation’s day-to-day operation; and then led the Community Engagement Department, a team of 40 employees tasked with supporting Wikimedia’s 80,000 regular volunteers.
- At Mozilla, I led the revision of the Mozilla Public License.
- At Greenberg Traurig, I counseled clients large and small on open licenses, technology transactions, and represented Google at trial in the Google-Oracle lawsuit.
- As a volunteer, I have served on the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative, as an Invited Expert on the Patents and Standards Interest Group at the World Wide Web Consortium, and on the Legal Working Group of Open Street Map.
- At the Berkman Center For Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, I was “geek in residence”, doing project management for Berkman projects like StopBadware and H2O, as well as general geekery of various and sundry sorts.
- At Ximian, I was a proud member and occasional manager of the desktop team, which became Novell’s Linux Desktop group.
- At GNOME, I was a founding member of the GNOME bugsquad, and was the ‘bugmaster’ for many GNOME releases. I was also elected to several terms on the GNOME Foundation Board.
About me: life
I’m married to, and have a beautiful son with, Krissa Nichols.
I used to be a very active Lego Mindstorms (legOS) hacker.
I went to Duke, where I was a Cameron Crazy, and studied political science and computer science. I was lucky enough to have some brilliant profs like John Brehm, Tom Spragens, Scott de Marchi, Karen Stenner, Michael Littman, and Owen Astrachan.
I grew up in sunny, green Coral Gables, Florida.
You may have come here looking for another Luis Villa.
I am not Luis Villa, Jr., MD, an oncologist (and also my father).
I also am not Luis Villa, a Spaniard usability expert (and ex-lawyer).
If you’re another Luis Villa, drop a note and say hi! :)