Help! I need a plain English software license...

Open source software license management company Protecode has launched a new “capability” that is hoped to help software developers to view their code from a pure license obligation perspective reported in plain English.

Conventional software licensing reports are arguably quite hard to comprehend for non-tech savvy individuals. Given this, Protecode System 4 License Obligations Report (LOR) displays information entirely in terms of licensing obligations, unlike conventional license reports that are generally organised by software structure and content.

The company hopes that this product will appeal to lawyers and business people who may not have a software technical background and who are seeking to understand software from a legal licensing perspective.

The company says that when running its reporting software, users will be asked a series of simple questions about how the software will be used such as if and how it is distributed, or if it includes Digital Rights Management functionality. Once the short questionnaire is completed, the report compiles a results page highlighting licensing obligations in an easily readable format.

With open source licensing jargon being a language unto itself, this tool may help with the general push towards compliance throughout the industry.

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