Bruce Perens, a co-founder and key leader of the open-source software movement, has been appointed to the board of Open Source Risk Management (OSRM), a New York-based company that is working to help protect the legal standing of open-source software.
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Perens said he is joining the board to help the group remain consistent with the ethics of the open-source developer community.
"The open-source community has its own view of what you can and cannot do with a commercial exploitation of it," he said. "If they feel that Linux and open-source are becoming too much of a commercial playground, they're going to stop developing."
Perens will help the group provide source code authenticity assurance to ensure that commercial software is not infringed by open-source software. That effort includes the use of specially created programs that can analyse software and determine if any improperly copied code is included in it.
OSRM, which provides open-source risk mitigation and legal defence services to clients, was founded last year. The company has launched a legal defence centre to help businesses threatened by the SCO Group's legal attacks on corporate Linux users and is offering indemnification coverage for corporate users.
Perens is a co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, a non-profit group dedicated to managing and promoting the definition of open-source software. He has previously worked for two years as senior global strategist for Linux and open-source at Hewlett-Packard, and was president of Linux Capital Group, a venture capital fund specialising in Linux.
Todd R Weiss writes for Computerworld