Moglen, who indicated the new organization is becoming increasingly necessary to avoid liability and other legal issues from stifling open source success, said the center would provide legal services to protect the rights and interests of free and open source software projects and developers who do not have the means to do it themselves.
OSDL, which last year announced a $10 million legal defense fund for Linux creator Linus Torvalds and others targeted by litigation from the SCO Group, said it had raised another $4 million for a new "intellectual property fund" that will help establish the new center, to be located in New York. While it will initially be funded by OSDL, it is not affiliated with the non-profit consortium. The center will employ two full-time IP attorneys to start with and should add another two attorneys later this year, according to backers. The Free Software Foundation and Samba Project will be among the first clients of the center.
Samba creator Andrew Tridgell, who recently joined OSDL, called the center -- for which there is no equivalent in the proprietary software world -- an important milestone in the maturity of the free software community.