*Hi everyone, *
* *
*I’m simply thrilled to welcome Luis Villa to the Foundation as our new
Deputy General Counsel.*
Thanks to Kat Walsh, I met Luis during my first months at the Foundation.
 Kat loves Luis, and it is no wonder why.  In addition to being a superb
lawyer, Luis is an open source developer, has worked with leaders in our
Internet legal circles, and has a great personality that embraces our
His most recent adventure took place at the Palo Alto office of Greenberg
Traurig, one of the top  global law firms.  There he worked with well-known
Internet lawyers like Ian Ballon and Heather Meeker.   Luis focused on
technology transactions, helping clients create solutions to licensing
problems, with a particular emphasis on open source and software standards.
His clients included Mozilla, the Open Compute Project, and a variety of
clients large and small.  Luis successfully defended Google in the
Oracle-Google/Android lawsuit, primarily working on the question of API
copyrightability. I hired Luis as outside counsel to work on a tough legal
matter for us, and his answers were on point, clear, and practical. *
Luis’ first contact with free software came was when he was in college at
Duke University. There he studied political science and computer science,
began using Linux, and helped triage Mozilla's bugzilla. A professor paid
him to play with Lego, resulting in brief maintainership of the GPL’d LegOS
operating system and co-authorship of the book "Extreme Mindstorms". *
After graduation, Luis worked at Ximian, a Linux desktop startup, doing
quality assurance and eventually managing the desktop team. As part of
that, he got heavily involved in the GNOME desktop project, becoming
bugmaster and then getting elected to the board of directors. After Ximian
was acquired, Luis became "geek in residence" at Harvard Law School's
Berkman Center. At Berkman, he translated from lawyer to geek, and managed,
maintained, and developed several software projects.*
After Berkman, Luis started his legal ventures in life at Columbia Law
School, where he was Editor in Chief of the Science and Technology Law
Review, was awarded honors each year, and was co-recipient of the class
prize for excellence in intellectual property scholarship. His thesis dealt
with the use of software standards as part of antitrust enforcement.
Outside of class, he participated in the GPL revision process, worked in
the General Counsel's office at Red Hat, and developed a surprisingly
strong attachment to New York City.*
After law school, Luis worked in the legal department at Mozilla, where his
major project was revising the Mozilla Public License. The license got over
a thousand words shorter, and gained stronger patent protections and
compatibility with the Apache and GPL licenses. Luis also worked on
privacy, contracts, standards bodies, and other issues.*
Outside of work, Luis is an invited expert to the World Wide Web
Consortium's Patents and Standards Interest Group, and a board member and
chair of the Licensing Committee at the Open Source Initiative. He also
enjoys biking, photography, history, Duke basketball (men's and women's),
and eating.*
Luis's first Wikipedia edit under his current user name dates to Feb. 2007.
Like any good pedant, he has also been making minor spelling and grammar
corrections anonymously for many years.*
So, as you can tell, we are extremely excited about having Luis on our team
and wish him a warm welcome. *
* *
*Cheers, *
* *
Geoff Brigham
General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
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