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Enterprise and Consumer Electronics Giants Join Forces to Help Address Increasing Complexities in Software Compliance

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 5:13am
The Associated Press

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/ () —

LINUXCON -- The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, announced today the launch of the Open Compliance Program, a comprehensive initiative that includes tools, training, a standard format to report software licensing information, consulting and a self-assessment checklist that will help companies comply with open source licenses, increasing adoption of open source and decreasing legal FUD present in the marketplace.

As the use of Linux and other open source software has exploded in recent years, especially in mobile and consumer electronics products, the need has arisen for a trusted, neutral, non-commercial compliance program that offers a comprehensive offering of compliance training, tools and services. With today's complex supply chains, it can be difficult to keep up with the code and licenses present in shipping products.

To address that complexity, The Linux Foundation has developed a set of tools, training curricula and a new self-administered assessment checklist that will allow companies to meet open source license obligations in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The Open Compliance Program also includes a new data exchange standard so companies and their suppliers can easily report software information in a standard way, a crucial missing link in the compliance landscape.

Founding participants of the program include enterprise computing and consumer electronics giants Adobe, AMD, ARM Limited, Cisco Systems, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Novell, Samsung, Software Freedom Law Center, Sony Electronics and more than 20 other companies and organizations. Comments from all the companies and organizations can be found below.

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"As Linux has proliferated up and down the product supply chain, so has the complexity of managing compliance," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. "Our mission is to enable the expansion of free and open source software, so we created this program to give companies the information, tools and processes they need to get the most out of their investment, while maintaining compliance with the licenses governing the software."

"Compliance with free software licensing requirements is much easier for product manufacturers and distributors than certain industrial competitors want you to believe," said Eben Moglen, founder and chairman, Software Freedom Law Center. "Free software licenses are designed to make it easy to copy, modify and redistribute software, commercially and non-commercially. But strong operational compliance engineering measures still play a crucial role, making risk avoidance both inexpensive and wholly effective. The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program will make best operational practices for compliance accessible to all and will help commercial and non-commercial parties work together to improve those practices still further. Participation in this program, along with necessary legal advice and training, should allow any organization to meet its FOSS license compliance responsibilities completely, at very low cost."

The six elements of The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program are:

You can find out more about the program at: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/programs/legal/compliance (http://www.linuxfoundation.org/programs/legal/compliance)

Industry Support and Participation Adobewww.adobe.com (http://www.adobe.com/) "Adobe is pleased to support the Open Compliance Program, and we're glad The Linux Foundation is taking a lead role to establish this important initiative," said Dave McAllister, director, open source and standards at Adobe. "The Open Compliance Program will be a great way for companies to collaborate and understand standard ways of sharing information about open source software licenses."

AMDwww.amd.com (http://www.amd.com/) "Since its creation, The Linux Foundation has played an important role in developing the open source ecosystem and nurturing Linux as a business model," said Chris Schlaeger, director, Operating System Research Center, AMD. "As a long time champion of open standards, AMD is pleased to support the Open Compliance Program designed to help businesses effectively incorporate open source tools into their products."

APLcompwww.aplcomp.fi (http://www.aplcomp.fi/) "APLcomp uses Linux to provide its customers with choice in the way they run their businesses," said Mr. Martti Pitkanen, CEO, APLcomp. "The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program will help APLcomp work with its customers to ensure that choice is protected by gaining an important understanding of open source compliance requirements and reducing legal FUD associated with Linux and open source software."

ARMwww.arm.com (http://www.arm.com/) "ARM is pleased to support The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program. We think it will give our partners the resources and information they need to get the most out of Linux and our technology," said Philippe Robin, Director, Open Source, ARM. "The Linux Foundation's collaborative, industry-wide program should further enable innovation on Linux."

Black Duck www.blackducksoftware.com (http://www.blackducksoftware.com/) "We applaud and endorse The Linux Foundation's efforts to help companies manage compliance with open source licenses," says Black Duck CEO, Tim Yeaton. "Black Duck's involvement in this program and the SPDX project is completely aligned with our mission of enabling companies to effectively adopt open source at enterprise scale."

BTwww.BT.com (http://www.bt.com/) "BT believes that open source is a powerful way to encourage innovation and bring together communities of interest with a common purpose. We have advocated open source governance in the enterprise for a number of years, so we're delighted to participate in The Linux Foundation's Open Source Compliance Program which will offer resources, tools and training to enterprises and the consumer electronics industry," said Jeremy Ruston, head of Open Source Innovation at BT.

Ciscowww.cisco.com (http://www.cisco.com/) "Cisco applauds the launch of the Open Compliance program. We support and welcome efforts that unite the industry around a much needed standard definition of open compliance. If we can successfully drive such a standard, we may be able to establish a level of predictability vitally needed for the success and growth of the industry," said Michael Enescu, Head of Cisco's Open Source Initiatives.

CodePlex Foundationwww.codeplex.org (http://www.codeplex.org/) "The CodePlex Foundation salutes The Linux Foundation's efforts to develop a comprehensive program to help companies comply with open source licenses," said Paula Hunter, Executive Director, The CodePlex Foundation. "By increasing collaboration and understanding, the Open Compliance Program will complement the CodePlex Foundation's mission to increase corporate contributions to open source by enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies, corporate IT, and open source communities."

credativwww.credativ.com (http://www.credativ.com/) "credativ works with a variety of developers and companies to incorporate open source software and development methodologies into their services," said Dr. Michael Meskes, President/CEO, credativ. "We very keenly understand the value of open source and the necessity of The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program, which will provide important tools and training while drastically reducing legal costs associated with software compliance."

DeviceVMwww.devicevm.com (http://www.devicevm.com/) "Having invested significant effort in compliance process and automation, we applaud the development of tools and standards for open source compliance. Leveraging hundreds of FOSS components in our products, and collaborating with a number of software and hardware partners, DeviceVM has felt the need for streamlined compliance processes first-hand," said Philip Sheu, co-founder and CTO of DeviceVM. "We expect that the Open Compliance Program will expand the use of open source software in the PC and consumer electronics industries."

Eucalyptus Systemswww.eucalyptus.com (http://www.eucalyptus.com/) "The enterprise software environment is always changing, but today we're experiencing the collision of multiple technologies and methodologies for managing IT. This brings about major innovation but also complexities," said Marten Mickos, CEO at Eucalyptus Systems. "The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program addresses the increasing use of open source software to power everything from the cloud to your phone to your company servers. We're looking forward to collaborating to make this unique and important resource available to everyone."

Funambolwww.funambol.com (http://www.funambol.com/) "License compliance can be extremely challenging and time consuming," said Fabrizio Capobianco, Funambol CEO. "The new tools, resources and services from The Linux Foundation will make it faster, easier and cheaper to properly integrate open source software with commercial solutions."

gpl-violations.orghttp://gpl-violations.org (http://gpl-violations.org/) "The goal of gpl-violations.org has always been to assure that anyone in the Free Software market plays according to a common set of rules, i.e. the Free Software licenses. We welcome the new efforts by The Linux Foundation to encourage all parties in the Free Software world to consistently and carefully follow these rules," said Founder Harald Welte.

Googlewww.google.com (http://www.google.com/) "Efforts like the Open Compliance Program from the Linux Foundation can make the difference between healthy open source use and chaos. Google is happy to see The Linux Foundation creating this program to assist people with this complicated subject," said Chris DiBona, open source and public sector engineering manager at Google.

HPwww.hp.com (http://www.hp.com/) "HP welcomes the added tools and training The Linux Foundation will be providing with the Open Compliance Program. The use of Linux and open source software in enterprise and consumer electronics has grown, along with the complexity of managing its licenses. HP has taken a leadership position on these matters in the past with its sponsorship of the FOSSBazaar workgroup at The Linux Foundation, and we're pleased to work with the Foundation on expanding its compliance activities," said Phil McKinney, vice president and chief technology officer of HP's Personal Systems Group.

Huaweiwww.huawei.com (http://www.huawei.com/) "Linux and open source are driving massive collaboration advantages in the telecom, software and consumer electronics industries," said Cheryl Xu, director of Open Source Support Center, Huawei. "We are pleased to see The Linux Foundation take a lead in helping companies navigate this new environment and are pleased to participate in this program."

IBMwww.ibm.com (http://www.ibm.com/) "By creating the Open Compliance Program, The Linux Foundation once again has stepped up to the challenge of providing the unifying force in an arena experiencing explosive growth, while decreasing the FUD around Linux and Open Source. IBM proudly supports the Open Compliance Program, which is an invaluable step in furthering the standards, tools, training and certification so needed by the industry," said Dan Frye, VP Open Systems Development at IBM.

Intelwww.intel.com (http://www.intel.com/) "Intel supports The Linux Foundation's efforts to improve open source compliance through training, benchmarking and tools," said Doug Fisher, vice president, Software and Services Group and general manager, Systems Software Division, Intel Corporation. "The success of projects such as MeeGo is based on valuable contributions to open source from hundreds of individuals and corporations. The broad open source ecosystem stays healthy and growing when licenses governing contributions are honored."

Linaro Limitedwww.linaro.org (http://www.linaro.org/) "Linaro is pleased to participate in the Open Compliance Program. The industry has needed a neutral place where companies and organizations can collaborate on open source compliance issues and inform those new to the process. We look forward to working with our peers on this program," said Ben Cade, executive officer, Linaro Limited.

Linpuswww.linpus.com (http://www.linpus.com/) "The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program addresses a unique and unmet requirement for understanding software compliance in today's market," said Rita Jing, vice president of sales, Linpus. "We've been working with OEMs on integrating Linux and open source into their products for more than a decade and know this program will be a welcome resource for ensuring software compliance, reducing legal costs and maximizing the value of Linux open source."

MIPS Technologieswww.mips.com (http://www.mips.com/) "MIPS Technologies is a huge supporter of Linux and other open source software. We're pleased to see The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program come to fruition. There is a need, especially in the embedded Linux space, for availability of neutral tools, training and resources that will enable easier open source development and adoption. We look forward to collaborating with The Linux Foundation and urge our partners to take a look at the resources available." -- Art Swift, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, MIPS Technologies, Inc.

MontaVistawww.mvista.com (http://www.mvista.com/) "As a leader in embedded Linux products, support, and services, each day MontaVista witnesses the rapidly growing number of companies using Linux and open source to power their products and services, and we understand these companies' genuine desire to comply with all of the applicable licenses," said Jason Wacha, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel at MontaVista. "The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program is the right thing at the right time: an independent resource providing an essential knowledge base, guidelines, and suite of compliance tools to address the needs of a dynamic new environment."

Motorolawww.motorola.com (http://www.motorola.com/) "As a leader in open source for the mobile industry, Motorola has invested for many years in programs and resources that support the open source model," said Christy Wyatt, Corporate Vice President, Software and Services Product Management for Motorola Mobile Devices. "Most recently we initiated and co-founded the SPDX project with the intent to make it easier to determine the origin of software components in open source projects. We are happy to move the SPDX project under The Linux Foundation and pleased to support The Linux Foundation as they make available a number of compliance assets to software developers, open source project leaders, and other companies."

NECwww.nec.com (http://www.nec.com/) "NEC -- as a platinum member of The Linux Foundation -- welcomes the Open Compliance Program. Many enterprise, telco and consumer electronics companies are now using Linux and other open source software. We are pleased to see The Linux Foundation will take a lead in helping companies navigate this new environment," said Tsugikazu Shibata, Senior Manager OSS Promotion Center of NEC.

NetAppwww.netapp.com (http://www.netapp.com/) "The Linux Foundation is in a unique position to effectively address an industry wide need for neutral software compliance tools and training," said Brian Pawlowski, CTO and Senior Vice President, NetApp. "We support the Open Compliance Program and expect it will help the industry understand these issues and help continue the growth of open source software."

Nokiawww.nokia.com (http://www.nokia.com/) "Nokia is pleased to support The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program. As a leading open source proponent and through our work on the MeeGo project, we know that neutral, timely and practical information on software compliance helps everyone in the industry. The Linux Foundation has taken a lead in providing this program and we are looking forward to the results of this initiative," said Ari Jaaksi, VP, MeeGo Devices at Nokia.

Novellwww.novell.com (http://www.novell.com/) "Novell is clearly seeing that the number of companies using open source within their product development is rapidly expanding. Programs such as the Open Compliance Program, which will help customers reduce the complexity and risk of computing, is a positive advancement for the industry," stated Markus Rex, General Manager of Novell's Open Platform Systems. "The Linux Foundation is the right organization to host this program."

Open Invention Network (OIN)www.openinventionnetwork.com (http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/) "The Open Invention Network applauds The Linux Foundation's initiative to facilitate compliance in the Linux community and reduce the opportunities for discord associated with noncompliance," according to Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. "The universal support for the Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program evidences an important level of discipline and resolve among members of the Linux Community to adhere to a set of norms that are essential to enabling Linux's expansion into key market and application spaces."

OpenLogicwww.openlogic.com (http://www.openlogic.com/) "OpenLogic is seeing an increasing number of companies adopting Linux and open source software and seeking out resources to help manage license compliance," said Steven Grandchamp, CEO of OpenLogic. "We're looking forward to working with The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program to bring together important tools, training and best practices to ease the often times costly and complex process associated with compliance."

Open Source Initiative (OSI)www.opensource.org (http://www.opensource.org/) "Given my deep commitment to the open source industry, I strongly support the efforts to develop a community wide consensus around best practices to manage the use of open source software. These best practices will ensure that companies are meeting their obligations under open source licenses," said Mark Radcliffe, Partner at DLA Piper and General Counsel for the Open Source Initiative (OSI). "The Linux Foundation has been a leader in this area and their continuing commitment to collaboration with other components of the open source ecosystem benefits everyone who uses open source software. I hope that other companies will adopt their approach."

Palamidawww.palamida.com (http://www.palamida.com/) "With a variety of open source, proprietary and third-party software products co-existing today, we've seen increasing demand for services related to software compliance and security," said Mark Tolliver, Palamida CEO. "Companies need accurate knowledge of exactly what software is being used in their development projects and in their enterprise, and we're looking forward to collaborating with The Linux Foundation and other industry experts to ensure companies are fully aware of their software compliance status and therefore more secure in their IT operations."

PTwww.pt.com (http://www.pt.com/) "PT, the recently rebranded Performance Technologies, supports The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program," said John Grana, Sr. VP Products and Technologies, PT. "The Open Compliance Program brings together the right companies and resources to pave the path to easy, cost-effective software compliance."

Samsungwww.samsung.com (http://www.samsung.com/) "With the explosion of Linux and other open source software products in consumer devices, it is more critical than ever that the industry collaborates on compliance issues. Samsung is pleased to support The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program and we're looking forward to our suppliers taking advantage of this very timely resource," said Young K. Choe, vice president, corporate software technology group, Samsung Techwin Co., LTD.

Sonywww.sony.com (http://www.sony.com/) "As a leader in consumer electronics, Sony welcomes the Open Compliance Program of The Linux Foundation. We expect this program to be useful for those who are engaged in software development. Linux is an important part of the consumer electronics ecosystem now and these types of leadership programs from The Linux Foundation help us make the most of our investment in Linux," said Keiichiro Shimada, SVP and Corporate Executive at Sony.

SugarCRMwww.sugarcrm.com (http://www.sugarcrm.com/) "The software industry has been needing a practical, neutral and informed leader in license compliance matters," said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM. "The Linux Foundation and this new program will fulfill that need and help companies effectively use open source in their products. As an open source software vendor we fully intend to support the tools and methodologies of the Open Compliance Program."

Texas Instrumentswww.ti.com (http://www.ti.com/) "In addition to significant kernel contributions, TI has helped our customers deploy millions of Linux-based consumer and enterprise devices. As the complexity of software integration has grown, so has our need to invest in the strategic development of tools and practices to manage compliance with the variety of open source licenses that combine into an end product. Unfortunately, the lack of packaging and license standards make compliance an imprecise and potentially draining expenditure for any individual company. We are actively contributing to The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program as it is yet another step taken to make viable commercially-successful open source platforms," said Ari Rauch, Senior director of software and system engineering, Wireless OMAP processor group, TI.

About The Linux FoundationThe Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2007, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by hosting important workgroups, events such as LinuxCon, and online resources such as Linux.com (http://www.linux.com (http://www.linux.com/) ). For more information, please visit www.linuxfoundation.org (http://www.linuxfoundation.org) (http://www.linuxfoundation.org (http://www.linuxfoundation.org/) ) or follow the organization on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/linuxfoundation (http://www.twitter.com/linuxfoundation) .

Trademarks: The Linux Foundation, MeeGo and Linux Standard Base are trademarks of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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