Ashlee paints a compelling picture of the differences between license compliance in proprietary vs open source software. The former? The Business Software Alliance and multi-million dollar software audits and lawsuits. The latter? Indivuals like Armijn Hemel and other leaders such as the Free Software Foundation, the Software Freedom Law Center, Harold Welte and many others who work with companies to ensure they understand and comply with license compliance.
This is where the Linux Foundation’s program comes in. Our Open Compliance Program adds to those efforts and gives companies the resources they need to understand the quite simple requirements of open source licenses so compliance issues don’t happen in the first place. Ashlee includes an example with Dell where the program has already paid dividends via our Open Compliance Directory.
Speaking of defenders of Free Software, we were lucky enough to have FOSS legal pioneer Eben Moglen keynote Linuxcon this year in Boston. If you haven’t watched his speech (which received a standing ovation), and you’re interested in the thought and motivation behind open source licenses you can view it here.
Thanks to the pioneers of open source licenses and the developers and defenders of the code, we are all enjoying shared research and development and rapid innovation across every industry today. License compliance is an important driver of that innovation.