News Category: IP/Licensing

Containers, the GPL, and Copyleft: No Reason for Concern

Though open source is thoroughly mainstream, new software technologies and old technologies that get newly popularized sometimes inspire hand-wringing about open source licenses. Most often the concern is about the GNU General Public License (GPL), and specifically the scope of its copyleft...
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SPDX Clears Confusion Around Software Licenses

The Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) is a Linux Foundation project to help reduce the ambiguity of software by defining standards for reporting information. The license is one such piece of information. SPDX provides a format for listing the specific license variant and version that applies to...
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​'Big Four' Linux Companies Shift Open-Source Licensing Policies

Red Hat, Facebook, Google, and IBM commit to providing a fair cure period to correct open-source GPLv2 software license compliance issues.' The GNU Public License version 2 (GPLv2) is arguably the most important open-source license for one reason: It's the license Linux uses. On November 27, three...
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Linux Foundation Creates a Framework for Sharing Open Data

The Linux Foundation wants to open up the use of data in much the same way it has helped make open-source software a technology force to be reckoned with. Announced at the Open Source Summit in Prague Monday, the new Community Data License Agreement is designed to cover the use of nonproprietary...
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9 Open Source License Management Rules for Startups

Open source software can be a double-edged sword for startups. It can be a startup's lifeblood, because it helps you innovate rapidly without starting from scratch. But, as they say, open source software is free like a puppy is free: The true cost of open source software is obeying open source...
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Developers Need to Start Paying Attention to Licenses

Today's applications are arguably the equivalent of a Girl Talk album in code. They are made up of code that comes from a variety of sources. For instance, they may use one or more frameworks and libraries each of which may also may rely on hundreds of modules (ex. npm, Ruby gems). Even portions...
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Open Source Licensing: What Every Technologist Should Know

If you’re a software developer today, you know how to use open source software, but do you know how and why open source licensing started? A little background will help you understand how and why the licenses work the way they do. Origins of open source licensing Technologists today, having grown...
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Two Open Source Licensing Questions: The AGPL and Facebook

In many settings, open source licensing today is considered a solved problem. Not only has the Open Source Initiative (OSI) largely contained the long feared issue of license proliferation, the industry has essentially consolidated around a few reasonably well understood models. Copyleft licenses...
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An Economically Efficient Model for Open Source Software License Compliance

"The Compliance Industrial Complex" is a term that evokes dystopian imagery of organizations engaging in elaborate and highly expensive processes to comply with open source license terms. As life often imitates art, many organizations engage in this practice, sadly robbing them of the many benefits...
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SPDX Could Help Organizations Better Manage Their Thickets of Open Source Licenses

As open source becomes more pervasive, companies are consuming products that have open source components. Today you literally can’t use any piece of software that doesn’t have any open source code in it, making it very complicated for companies to keep a tab on what they are consuming and stay...
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