The Linux Foundation has released a new course for developers looking at licensing compliance. The course is called Open Source Compliance Basics for Developers (LFC191), is free and is self-paced. Importantly this is not just a course for developers and is something that IT managers, project managers and even legal teams should consider taking.
The goal of the course is to ensure that developers understand how open source licensing works. Many people believe that open source means free to use however they want. That is not the case and there are numerous issues ranging from licenses around copyright, patents, requirements to file changes and the right to use and distribute code that need to be understood. The problem is that few really understand these issues and often inadvertently break the conditions attached to open source code.
According to Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin:
“The easier it is to understand, comply with and manage open source software and licensing, the more code that gets shared for everyone and the more innovation that takes place. By lowering the cost and complexity of compliance we hope we can increase the ability for everyone to share.”