Organizations need to manage their use of open source, like any other intellectual property.    The licenses in use in an organization are important during day to day operation, as well as during development, release and support of new products, be it for a startup or a large enterprise operation. 

Communities

Professionals networking and collaborating with peers helps evolve pragmatic best practices, as well as open standards.   The Linux Foundation supports open source professionals to be able to network with communities of best practices and open standards in the following groups.  

​In order to facilitate resolution of open source compliance issues short of contentious conflict, The Linux Foundation has compiled an Open Compliance Directory. The purpose of this directory is to identify corporate Open Source Program Office and Compliance contacts able to respond to compliance inquiries.  

Training

The Linux Foundation supports a comprehensive set of programs for open source software compliance. We view open source compliance as a continuous process managed by professionals - and achieving compliance across an ecosystem starts with education and training so we can develop more professionals.  

  • Compliance Basics for Developers (LFC:191) is designed to teach software developers and producers why it is important to add copyrights and licenses to their code, as well as how to do so.
  • OpenChain is developing a curriculum of reference materials to support organizations wanting demonstrate best practices managing open source in the supply chain.   To see the latest materials and get involved see: https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/openchain.

Publications

A series of white papers has been developed to aid open source professionals in understanding various license compliance topics and the implications.   As well, The Linux Foundation makes available a set of templates, that organizations can customize to their own needs.   

Tools

Automating the creation, recognition and summarization of accurate compliance information, is going to be key to making it easy to meet the compliance obligations that come with using open source code.   To help with this, there are a variety of open source and commercial tools emerging that work with the standards supported by the Open Compliance Program: SPDX & OpenChain. 

Consulting Services

In support of its nonprofit mission to promote the use of open source technology, The Linux Foundation has a consulting service to help organizations make strategic use of open source software.  Our consulting practice can help your organization devise custom strategies around open source technologies and methods to achieve your business and technology goals. Our consulting team has engaged with hundreds of organizations, providing comprehensive strategic plans for industry-leading technology suppliers and enterprise IT organizations.   Please fill out the Corporate Training form to learn more about this option.