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Firms offered open-source insurance cover

Antony Savvas

Two UK insurance companies have teamed up with a New York risk assessor to offer firms cover against potential legal action brought as a result of using open-source software.

The Public Patent Foundation recently announced that Linux potentially infringed over 280 patents, including over 25 held by Microsoft.

SCO is currently in the process of suing large enterprises and suppliers over the alleged infringements of its own patents in relation to Linux use and distribution.

Insurance underwriters Kiln and Miller Insurance Services have joined forces with risk assessor Open Source Risk Management to offer Linux legal protection to companies.

The insurance covers up to $10m (£5.8m) in damages, and includes actions in relation to non-compliance with open-source software licences.

As well as being used by smaller developers to distribute code, open-source licences are increasingly being issued by the likes of Sun Microsystems, IBM, and Computer Associates to cover certain products.


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