The Linux Foundation Launches Open Compliance Program

The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, has launched 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.

The new program is intended to address a need that has arisen as the use of Linux and other open source software has exploded in recent years, especially in mobile and consumer electronics products. "As Linux has proliferated up and down the product supply chain, so has the complexity of managing compliance," explains 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."

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 IBM, Adobe, AMD, ARM Limited, Cisco Systems, Google, Intel, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Novell, Samsung, Software Freedom Law Center, Sony Electronics and more than 20 other companies and organizations.

"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," notes Dan Frye, vice president, Open Systems Development, at IBM.

You can find out more about the program at the Open Compliance website.