- Technology Law, computer software licensing and distribution
- Open Source licensing, business structures and compliance
- Open Hardware licensing
- Open data, legal aspects of AI
- Standards, open source, and IP policies
About Andrew Katz
Formerly a software developer and a barrister, Andrew has over 25 years’ experience as a technology lawyer. He joined Moorcrofts in March 2000, shortly after the firm was founded.
He has been described as the UK’s leading free and open-source software lawyer, is a Fellow of the Free Software Foundation Europe and the Open Forum Academy, and for 7 years held the post of visiting lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, where he taught postgraduates free and open source software law. He is co-author of Open Source Law, Policy and Practice published by the Oxford University Press in 2022, as well as a number of other books and papers on open source law and technology law.
He regularly talks and keynotes at conferences worldwide in North America, Europe and Asia.
He is also a visiting researcher at the University of Skövde, Sweden where he has co-authored papers whose findings have been adopted into Swedish government policy.
Andrew drafted the widely-used Solderpad Open Hardware Licence and is on the core legal team for drafting the CERN Open Hardware licence. Clients have included some of the world’s leading free and open-source software companies and projects, including Canonical (Ubuntu) and CentOS (where he negotiated the business transfer to Red Hat). He was selected to lead the Open Hardware section of the European Commission’s Impact Study on Open Source Software and Hardware which was published in 2021.
Andrew’s skillsets cover free and open source software licensing, technology law, commercial law and intellectual property. He qualified as a barrister and was called to the bar (Inner Temple) in 1991, and subsequently re-qualified and now practises as a solicitor in England and Wales. He is also an Irish solicitor (non-practising).
In 2019 he spearheaded the establishment of Moorcrofts sister company, Orcro Limited which provides specialist advice on open source compliance. Orcro has in-house software development and dev-ops expertise and has a roster of clients ranging from multinationals to startups based mainly overseas, in countries such as China and North America and throughout Europe.
Andrew entered Churchill College at Cambridge University, on a scholarship to study Natural Sciences, and transitioned to the Law Tripos, and has maintained a parallel interest in technology and Law ever since. Prior to studying for the Bar, he was a computer consultant (and accredited NeXT Developer), was involved in the original Statute Law Database Project and advised the Incorporated Council for Law Reporting on data storage on CD-ROM. After passing the bar finals, he was employed as a barrister by Winward Fearon & Co in London, a leading construction litigation firm, where he was one of the first lawyers to apply database technology to document indexing to assist in the discovery process in large scale litigation. In 1993, after requalifying as a solicitor, he joined the long-established Midlands firm of Brethertons in their company-commercial department, and in 1996 he became that firm’s youngest ever partner. In 2000, after a brief stint at BP Collins in Buckinghamshire, he accepted Adrian Phillips’s invitation to join the newly-founded Moorcrofts, where he has been a partner since 2001.
He has been a board member of the Telecommunications Industry Association, the MariaDB Foundation and Public Software CIC, and general counsel of OpenUK. He is also CEO of the Moorcrofts sister company, Orcro Limited which provides advice and consultancy on Open Source compliance and supply chain management and is an accredited partner of the Linux Foundation’s OpenChain project.
Publications of Note
A comprehensive listing of Andrew’s publications can be found on Google Scholar
The Impact of Open Source Software and Hardware on technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in the EU economy
Blind, K.; Böhm, M., Grzegorzewska, P., Katz, A., Muto, S., Pätsch, S., Schubert, T.
European Commission 2021
Future Law – Emerging Technology, Regulation and Ethics
Ed. Lilian Edwards, Burkhard Schafer, Edina Harbinger
Chapter 10: Autonomous Intelligent Agents and the Roman Law of Slavery Andrew Katz & Michaela MacDonald
Edinburgh University Press 2021
A Practical Guide to IT Law
Ed. Holt, Jeremy; Newton, Jeremy
Chapters on Open Source Software, Data Protection and Joint Ventures
British Computer Society Press 2020
On Challenges for Implementing ISO Standards in Software: Can Both Open and Closed Standards Be Implemented in Open Source Software?
B Lundell, J Gamalielsson, A Katz
Corporate and Global Standardization Initiatives in Contemporary Society … 2018
Research Anthology on Usage and Development of Open Source Software 2021
On implementation of Open Standards in software: To what extent can ISO standards be implemented in open source software?
B Lundell, J Gamalielsson, A Katz
International Journal of Standardization Research (IJSR) 13 (1), 47-73 – 2015
A survey of open processor core licensing
Journal of Law, Technology and Society 4 (1), 2018
Software, Copyright, and the Learning Environment: An Analysis of the IT Contracts Swedish Schools Impose on Their Students and the Implications for FOSS
A Katz, B Lundell, J Gamalielsson
IFOSS L. Rev. 8, 1 – 2016
Research on Open Innovation
Open Forum Academy, 2015
The International FOSS Law Book (England and Wales Chapter)
Open Source Press, 2014
Free and Open Source Software
Oxford University Press, 2013 (with Walden, Shemtov et al.)
Google, APIs and the Law. Use, Reuse and Lock-In
Google and the Law, 287-301
Towards a Functional Licence for Open Hardware
International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, 2012
A Manager’s Guide to IT Law
BCS Press, 2011 (with Holt, Newton et al.)
Open Design Now
BIS Publishers, 2011
Intelligent Agents and Internet Commerce In Ancient Rome
Computers and Law magazine 2008
Certificate in Copyright Law (CopyrightX)
Berkman Center, Harvard (distance learning) (2014)
Churchill College, Cambridge (1994)
BA Hons Law
Churchill College, Cambridge (1988)
Barrister-at-Law (Inner Temple)
Council of Legal Education
Family, geekery, live music (especially in Oxford), travel, food and wine, digital rights, open hardware design.
He is currently researching Open Hardware licensing, the application of the law to machine learning and artificial intelligence and the role of standards in open source development. He is a thought-leader on IP aspects of intellectual property in AI and has recently spoken on AI aspects of Artificial Intelligence at conferences in Japan, Sweden and Beijing.
- Founder Editor of the International Free and Open Source Law Review, JOLTS (Journal of Open Law, Technology and Society)
- Advisory panel (formerly editor): Journal of Open Hardware
- Advisor: Low RISC Foundation. Technical Advisory Board
- Open UK: IP and Policy Advisory Group
- Licensing Panel: FOSSi Foundation
- United Nations Technology Innovation Labs: advisory panel
Ranked for 19 years.
Tier 1 for information Technology for 8 years
Leading Individual – IT and Telecoms (noted since 2004)
Ranked for IT Law for 14 years