New wave of technology industry leaders join efforts to increase predictability in open source licensing

Tech June 07, 2018 15:52

By The Nation

Red Hat Inc announced that six additional companies have joined efforts to promote greater predictability in open source licensing.



These marquee technology companies – CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, Microsoft, SAP, and SUSE – have committed to extending additional rights to cure open source license noncompliance. This will lead to greater cooperation with distributors of open source software to correct errors and increased participation in open source software development, Red Hat said in a press statement.

The GNU General Public License (GPL) and GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) are among the most widely used open source software licenses covering many important software projects, including the Linux kernel. GPL version 3 (GPLv3) introduced an approach to termination that offers distributors of the code an opportunity to correct errors and mistakes in license compliance. This approach allows for enforcement of license compliance consistent with a community in which heavy-handed approaches to enforcement, including for financial gain, are out of place, the statement added.

In Nov. 2017, Red Hat, Facebook, Google, and IBM each committed to extending the GPLv3 approach for license compliance errors to the software code each has contributed under GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 and v2. With today's announcement, there are now 10 companies that have publicly committed to providing greater predictability to open source users. The large ecosystems of projects using the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses will benefit from adoption of this more balanced approach to termination derived from GPLv3.