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Announcing New Open Compliance Template

Almost two years ago, The Linux Foundation launched the Open Compliance Program to help companies manage their end-to-end open source license compliance processes.  We have continually added papers, training, tutorials, and dedicated Legal/Compliance session tracks at conferences like Collaboration Summit to help make compliance processes easier to understand, and more cost-effective to implement.

Today, we are releasing a new template that will help companies manage the flow of data through the compliance process.

License compliance best practices require complete and accurate information about FOSS components being incorporated into the software supply chain. This requires a continual focus on ensuring the right information is collected and archived when a new FOSS component is to be introduced into a software product, from initial request to final shipment.

To help with this process we've just published a template for collecting information about a FOSS component and its usage, so that when a request is made to the company's internal open source review board, it can be easily and thoroughly evaluated.  This template will also help development organizations spend less time re-submitting missing data, and a standardized format can accelerate the approval process.

We will publish additional templates for usage guidelines, due diligence on a supplier's FOSS compliance practices, and more over the coming months.  In the meantime, we encourage you to download and reuse the request template.  And as always, if you need additional guidance on designing your FOSS compliance program, we can help with that too.

 

How is Linux Built? Our New Report and Video

When you work for the Linux Foundation you get a lot of questions on just how Linux is built. Given the massive scale of the development and ubiquity of Linux today, some of us in the community might think everyone understands how the largest collaborative project in computing works. How you submit a patch. How maintainers work with Linux creator Linus Torvalds. But because of Linux's unprecedented growth in mobile, embedded and cloud computing, among other areas, new companies and developers are looking to participate. More than ever before, actually. In our "Who Writes Linux" report (http://go.linuxfoundation.org/who-writes-linux-2012) published today at The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit (https://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/collaboration-summit), we find that more than 7800 individuals from about 800 companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since 2005 and that the rate of development continues to accelerate. The...

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The Cloud, KVM and NYSE Star at Our Upcoming Enterprise End User Summit

Today I am happy to announce the program and speakers for The Linux Foundation's Enterprise End User Summit (https://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/enterprise-end-user-summit). This is one of our most unique events, bringing together the biggest and most technically advanced Linux users with the vendor and Linux kernel communities. And, this year's event is really special for a variety of reasons: first, we learned earlier this year from our annual enterprise end user trends survey and report (http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/linux-adopt...) that the world's largest companies are adding more Linux over the next 12 months to support cloud computing and "Big Data." There is much to discuss and work to advance in these areas at this year's Summit. Second, we're meeting at the office of NYSE Technologies, and an amazing party is...

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Patents, Legal Collaboration and our Legal Summit

Unfortunately legal issues, specially patents lawsuits, are much in the news. From Yahoo suing Facebook to the ongoing battles surrounding Apple and other mobile device providers, my RSS and social media feeds seem to have more and more articles about legal issues everyday.

Wired published a great article today from an ex-Yahoo developer on how his work was weaponized for a patent war.

He writes: "I thought I was giving them a shield, but turns out I gave them a missile with my name permanently engraved on it." This case, among other similar ones, points out the need quite urgently for reform of our software patent system. When companies struggle, especially large ones, it's often easier to litigate than innovate.

But amid the patent wars there has been some good news. OIN last week announced they are expanding their patent pool to cover other important projects such as KVM, Git and others projects.

As SVN writes: "Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the OIN’s broad Linux Definitions." Keith Bergelt of OIN will be speaking at our upcoming CollaborationSummit on this Linux definition. Keith will take people through the changes in the definitions, as well as the updating of the 1000s of packages already included in their coverage. This is important stuff and I'm very happy to feature Keith as a speaker.

We are continuing our active role in the legal landscape by marshaling the power of collaboration with our members. Before next month's Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, we will be holding our Linux Foundation Legal Summit, where counsels and attorneys from our members come together with our legal experts and others from around the industry to plot the best defense for Linux and free software. There is power in collaboration; certainly with software but also with legal issues. It's a core part of our mission to enable this legal collaboration and spear head programs, like our Open Compliance program, that simplify and improve legal matters in our community. And as mentioned above, we also have a track on legal and compliance issues at the Collaboration Summit. This year Bradley Kuhn was kind enough to assist me in creating the track and I'm happy to say we have a who's who of leaders in the open source legal industry.

We are featuring
-- Aaron Williamson of the SFLC on the Evolving Form of Free Software Organization
-- Bradley from the Software Freedom Conservancy on GPL Compliance
-- Richard Fontana from REd Hat will talk about the Decline of the GPL and what to do about it
-- Karen Sandler from the GNOME Foundation will talk about real world trademark management for free software projects

And on day one of Collaboration Summit we will have a keynote on the SPDX project, one of the best examples of collaborative legal issues. You can read details about full the schedule of Collab Summit.


I hope to see many of you there.

 

Free Embedded Linux Training at Yocto Developer Day on February 14th

Use of Linux in the mobile/embedded space is exploding, and we find many companies are adopting the open source Yocto project to build custom embedded Linux systems. The project is hosting a free day of training on Yocto on Feb 14th as part of the Embedded Linux Conference. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn Yocto if you're a beginner or get more advanced if you are already familiar with the tool. Find out more about Yocto Developer Day. Yocto includes the BitBake build tool, a large set of customizable build metadata, the EGLIBC library, Eclipse-based graphical user interfaces for both the build system and an accompanying Application Development Toolkit that is automatically generated, and several other tools that bring some...

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