Opendawn is proud to announce that we have become an Associate Partner of FOSSbazaar, joining organizations like BT, Hewlett-Packard, Linux Foundation, Novell, Black Duck Software and Olliance Group in promoting better FOSS governance

FOSSBazaar is an open community that was launched by HP and our founding partners Coverity, DLA Piper, Google, the Linux Foundation, Novell, Olliance Group, OpenLogic and SourceForge. As a workgroup of the Linux Foundation, we are dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations across the enterprise to understand the issues that exist with free and open source software (FOSS), the processes that can assist to properly govern the implementation and deployment of FOSS, and the tools that can be used to assist these efforts across the lifecycle of an open source project. The vision of FOSSBazaar is to serve as a gathering place to discuss, explore, share experiences and cooperatively solve issues related to FOSS governance. As such, the site serves the open source community as a forum representative of open source users and providers worldwide.

Over the next few months we will contribute material to FOSSbazaar and assist in developing new best practice information for the community.  You can follow our progress on Shane Coughlan’s blog or through FOSSbazaar’s RSS feed.  Our work in this project will be an open dialogue, so if you have suggestions for useful governance material you want to see available just let us know.

Shane Coughlan (Opendawn) and Armijn Hemel (Loohuis Consulting) published an article on LWN.net.

“Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) allows all stakeholders to use, study, share and improve code for commercial or non-commercial reasons. However, engagement can still appear daunting to companies. They are monetizing other people’s creations, and, with the high economic value of FOSS, making a mistake is less easily forgiven than it might be in non-commercial circumstances.

Fortunately, there is a substantial body of documentation available to help commercial stakeholders learn how FOSS licenses work, how to communicate effectively to resolve issues, and how to understand what expectations might exist beyond simple legal requirements. There are also several organizations acting as neutral educators dedicated to licensing, development, and governance issues.

You can read the full text on LWN.net.

For more information about code governance, how companies can adhere to FOSS requirements, and Opendawn’s services in this area please contact us.

Shane Coughlan (Opendawn) and Armijn Hemel (Loohuis Consulting) published an article on LWN.net.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) license compliance is a contentious topic. There are different perspectives about when and how license terms apply, about which licenses can be used together, and about how potential issues should be resolved. The consumer electronics market is an area where FOSS license compliance is particularly problematic. This is primarily attributable to economic reasons rather than dishonesty, but in a market worth more than $335 Billion in 2008, it is an issue worth exploring.

Due to the relative youth of the FOSS ecosystem, there is a lack of case law and best practice information available. In the past, one of the few resources available to the community was Debian Legal, and businesses had little beyond Open Bar (USA) and ifrOSS (EU) to support them.

That situation is improving. Organizations like FSF’s Free Software Licensing and Compliance Labgpl-violations.orgFSFE’s Freedom Task Force and Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) have helped push professional legal and business approaches to the forefront of FOSS discourse. The recent launch of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review has provided a neutral platform for future discussions. As FOSS has matured so too has the level of information accessible to support businesses and projects.

You can read the full text on LWN.net.

For more information about FOSS license compliance in the consumer electronics market and Opendawn’s services in this area please contact us.

Shane Coughlan (Opendawn) and Andrew Katz (Moorcrofts) have published an article entitled ‘Introducing the Risk Grid‘ in the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review.  The risk grid is a tool to assist lawyers allocate risk in commercial transactions involving Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and is an outcome of the European Legal Network’s special interest group on the commercial procurement of FOSS.  This article and the accompanying version of the risk grid mark the public release of the tool, the first of its kind in the FOSS market.

Obtaining the article and the risk grid:

The article can be viewed as a webpage or downloaded as a PDF.  The risk grid itself is available as a PDF or OpenOffice.org spreadsheet.

Licensing information:

The article is Copyright © 2009 Andrew Katz and Shane Coughlan. This paper is licensed under a Creative Commons UK (England and Wales) 2.0 licence, no derivative works, attribution, CC-BY-ND. As a special exception, the authors expressly permit faithful translations of the entirety of this paper  into any language, provided that the resulting translation (which may include an attribution to the translator) is shared alike. This paragraph is part of the paper and must be included when copying or translating the paper.

The risk grid is Copyright © 2009 Andrew Katz, Amanda Brock, Malcolm Bain. It is licensed under a Creative Commons UK (England and Wales) 2.0 licence, no derivative works, attribution, CC-BY-ND. As a special exception, the authors expressly permit faithful translations of the entire document into any language, provided that the resulting translation (which may include an attribution to the translator) is shared alike. The wording in column E of the Risk Grid (“Sample Wording”) may be used for any purpose, without restriction, and without attribution. This paragraph is part of the Risk Grid, and must be included when copying or translating the Risk Grid.

Shane Coughlan hosted a Continuing Legal Education seminar for lawyers on the California bar on behalf of the Japan Law Society on the 18th of June.  This seminar was located at the Yodoyabashi & Yamagami offices in Osaka and broadcast live via videolink to audience members at the Kao Corporation in Tokyo.

Shane discussed FOSS licensing and practical market engagement.  His talk focused on using copyright to regulate the distribution of creative work, and what ramifications FOSS has for other aspects of a traditional IPR portfolio such as patents and trademarks.

For more information about FOSS licensing and Opendawn’s services in this area please contact us.

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