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catalog-iconThe OpenFoundry Resource Catalog lists professional resources and applications related to the development of open source software. If you have any recommendation listing / category  or bug for this resource catalog, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Neolex Open Source Audits

Neolex Open Source Audit service are offered by the Nordic law firm Neolex AB (hereinafter Neolex) to minimize the IPR risk associated with the use of open source components.

The above-mentioned audit services include but not limited to, (1) analyze the source code and licensing of any open source components , and (2) provide a report on the component's IPR risk and the information needed to comply with the component's licensing.

Each audit report has a risk rating (green, yellow, red). Green means the audit report did not reveal any significant risks; yellow means the audit report revealed potential risks; red means the audit report revealed significant risks. All audit reports are available for free under a Creative Commons “Attribution-ShareAlike” 3.0 unported License. The open source licensing audits database is available here.

Neolex's lawyers conduct open source audits by running the source code of an open source program through a tool, called Fossology, to identify copyright and license references applicable to the program. Then they review the licenses to identify any potential conflict and prepare guidelines for complying with all licenses applicable to the program.

Neolex provides free audit service for non-profit open source projects. If you wish to check your non-profit open source project's licensing compliance status, you can request a free audit. The contact information is available here.

References:https://www.neolex-opensource.com

CC (Creative Commons)

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001. Inspired in part by the Free Software Foundation’s GNU GPL, CC released its first set of copyright licenses for free to the public in December 2002. The licenses have been further improved, and ported to over 50 international jurisdictions.

Abbreviated FAQ is provided. If you don't find the answer to your question there, please see the full FAQ.

If you care about CC and want to stay up to date with current CC happenings across the globe, you can subscribe CC Newsletter or check out the archive of past CC newsletters.

So far, CC has two programs, Science Commons and ccLearn. Science Commons was launched in 2005. It designs strategies and tools for faster, more efficient web-enabled scientific research. ccLearn is a division of Creative Commons, launched in 2007 and dedicated to realizing the full potential of the internet to support open learning and open educational resources.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of CC at https://creativecommons.org. Please visit this site for more information.)

LMI (Linux Mark Institute)

In 1996, a third party attempted to take control of the Linux trademark for the purpose of selling the right to use it. The Linux Mark Institute ("LMI") was formed in opposition to this attempt.

Linus Torvalds has certain trademark rights to the Linux trademark. LMI was established and assigned rights by Mr. Torvalds to sublicense the use of the Linux trademark to individuals and entities. LMI’s sublicense agreement is free, worldwise, non exclusive, perpetual and nontransferable. (Here is the term of the Linux Sublicense Agreement.)

If you know of people, organizations or companies using the Linux mark as part of a trademark without a sublicense, or if you see references to Linux® without the proper attributions, you may notify LMI. If you want to learn more about the Linux trademark and LMI’s sublicense program, you can see the FAQ.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of LMI at https://www.linuxmark.org/. Please visit this site for more information.)

IFOSS L. Rev. (The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review)

The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) is a collaborative legal publication aiming to increase knowledge and understanding among lawyers about Free and Open Source Software issues. Sections include case law reviews, full-length research articles, book reviews and 'tech watch' reports by non-lawyers.

IFOSS L. Rev. is a peer reviewed biannual journal and is published by an independent Editorial Committee. The Editorial Committee of the Review is drawn from the membership of the European Legal Network. The network, facilitated by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is the world's largest community of lawyers and licensing specialists in the field, containing over 200 specialists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia.

IFOSSLR provides immediate open access to its content and is available printed and on-line. Volume 1, Issue 1 is released in July, 2009. The Review itself receives financial support from the Mozilla foundation and administrative support from the NLNet Foundation.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of IFOSS L. Rev. at https://www.ifosslr.org/ifosslr/index. Please visit this site for more information.)

Lessig.org

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of Creative Commons. Professor Lessig focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. He represented web site operator Eric Eldred in the ground-breaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

Professor Lessig is the author of “Remix-Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy” (2008), Code v2 (2007), Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). All of the above mentioned books are released under Creative Commons licenses.

Professor Lessig lately announced the hibernation of his blog; however, you still can find lots of archive information here.

In addition to blog, Professor Lessig’s website provides Columns, Articles, even Unpublished works he wrote.

(Much of the information here was extracted from the website https://lessig.org/. Please visit this site for more information.)

FOSSology

★★★★★

The FOSSology project started out as an internal development effort at Hewlett Packard Company (HP). As part of HP's own internal IT governance process, HP needed a tool that would quickly and accurately describe how a given open source project was licensed. Thus was born FOSSology – “The study of FOSS.”

Currently, FOSSology provides a free license agent that scans and analyzes data for potential software licenses. You can find How To’s (upload files for analysis, interpreting license results, ect.) and other FOSSology topics, such as FAQ on its User Documentation page.

Copyrights of the original FOSSology source code and all associated documentation are owned by HP. All of the FOSSology source code is licensed under the GNU GPL v. 2, except that libfossdb and libfossrepo libraries are licensed under the LGPLv2.1. FOSSology Project documentation is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License v.1.2.

OSSF provides instant VDI image file for FOSSology license scan agent. If you are interested in this system, you can download it here.

Black Duck Software provides a similar tool, Black Duck™ Transact, which can quickly identify open source and other third party code within a software code base and their related licenses.

(Much of the information here was extracted from the website https://fossology.org/. Please visit this site for more information.)

OSI (Open Source Initiative)

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation, founded in 1998 to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open-source community.

One of OSI’s most important activities is as a standards body, maintaining the Open Source Definition (OSD) for the good of the community.

OSI is the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant.

To find licenses successfully gone through OSI’s approval process, please visit https://www.opensource.org/licenses.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of OSI at https://www.opensource.org/. Please visit this site for more information.)

FSF (Free Software Foundation)

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) was started by Richard M. Stallman in 1985. FSF is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.

The GNU licenses, such as GPL (GNU General Public License), LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License, AGPL (Affero General Public License) and FDL (Free Documentation License) were released by FSF.In addition, the well-known free software definition was also maintained by FSF.

The Compliance Lab, formalized in 2001 handles all licensing-related issues for FSF.

You can learn answers to commonly-asked questions about the GNU licenses at FAQ.

Currently FSF has six projects (GNU, GPLv3.fsf.org, GPL Compliance Lab, Free Software Directory, Campaigns for Free Software and Savannah ).

(Much of the information here was extracted from FSF website https://www.fsf.org/. Please visit this site for more information.)

SFLC(Software Freedom Law Center)

Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) was founded in 2005. The Center provides legal services to the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community in these primary areas:

  •  Licensing
  • License Defense and Litigation Support
  • Trademark Counseling
  • Patent Defense
  • Non-profit Organizational Assistance
  • Public Education, Legal Consulting and Lawyer Training

In addition to its mission to provide pro bono legal services to FOSS projects, the Center has a secondary goal: to produce useful technology that allows non-profit organizations and law centers to operate in software freedom.

SFLC as well frequently publishes the results of its legal analysis of various FLOSS-related legal issues.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of SFLC at https://www.softwarefreedom.org/. Please visit this site for more information.)

ifrOSS (Institut für Rechtsfragen der Freien und Open Source Software)

ifrOSS is a German virtual internet institute, founded by lawyer, Till Jaeger and law professor, Axel Metzger, to participate in the fast progress of legal aspect of open source software. By publishing books, periodicals, speeches and providing public opinions, members of ifrOSS take the lead in the field of German open source laws and licensing.

ifrOSS provides abundant information, such as books, periodicals, licenses, GPL forum, key cases documents and wiki discussions. ifrOSS also has information about open content. The book, Die GPL - kommentiert und erklär, explaining GPL v. 2.0 verbatim, is worthy to read. This book is available for download on ifrOSS.

Except pages of Links and License Center have English version, other information on ifrOSS are all in German.

If you would like to search for legal information about German open source software, ifrOSS is a great choice.

(The above information is from the website of ifrOSS at https://www.ifross.de/. )

gpl-violations.org

gpl-violations.org was originally founded by Harald Welte. Mr. Welte started to get active with GPL enforcement in late 2003, where he discovered the first bunch of companies violating the GPL in software he wrote for the netfilter/iptables project.

The gpl-violations.org project tries to raise public awareness about past and present infringing use(r)s of free software, and thus putting pressure on the infringers.

Dr. Till Jaeger and his staff from JBB Rechtsanwälte handle the legal aspects of all gpl-violations.org cases.

FAQs of the gpl-violations.org project have the following documents:

  1. Vendor FAQ
  2. Source Code Release FAQ
  3. Violations FAQ
  4. Legal FAQ.

gpl-violations.org project has legal and tech mailinglists, which are a forum where this community can meet and share experience and information.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of gpl-violations.org at https://www.gpl-violations.org. Please visit this site for more information.)

Eben Moglen

Eben Moglen is Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and founding Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. Since 1993 he has served pro bono publico as General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation.

Professor Moglen involved deeply in the drafting process of GPL v.2 and GPL v.3. He knows very well about the GPL modifications, and there was lots of discussion about GPL on his blog.

In addition, the Columns page collected columns published in the UK Linux User.

(Much of the information here was extracted from the website https://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/. Please visit this site for more information.)

Groklaw

Groklaw began in 2003. It is Pamela Jone’s personal creation and the site belongs to her.

Groklaw is an excellent resource for those looking for comprehensive guide to what’s going on day-to-day surrounding the SCO cases, including SCO v. IBM, SCO v. Novell, SCO v. AutoZone, SCO v. DaimlerChrysler and Red Hat v. SCO lawsuits.

You can find information on various topics, like cases, statutes, legal articles on its Legal Research page.

There is also a separate page of Patent Links, and a one page on DRM, one for the GPL, and one page on Microsoft litigation.

(The above information is extracted from the official website of Groklaw at https://www.groklaw.net/. Please visit this site for more information.)