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Black Duck joins OSDL

Jan 25, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive

A company specializing in intellectual property management services has joined the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). Black Duck Software will contribute to OSDL initiatives involving legal issues, it says. Additionally, two Black Duck employees will speak at the OSDL's Enterprise Linux Summit, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, in Burlingame, Calif.

The OSDL has stated that it intends to take a leadership role with regard to legal issues facing Linux. The organization hired Portland-based open source legal specialist Diane Peters last August to serve in a newly created role as general counsel. And, in January of 2004, the OSDL created a legal defense fund in response to the highly publicized threats against prominent open source users from Unix copyright owner SCO.

Black Duck Software offers open source software license management services based on its ProtexIP suite of software tools. The ProtexIP tools include distributed databases of open source code and related licensing information, along with sophisticated pattern matching utilities. The tools and services are designed to help developers and lawyers collaborate throughout the development process to identify and mitigate possible risks involved in the commercial use of open source software, such as exposure to copyright challenges. Black Duck's services can also be used by companies to perform due diligence on code developed by outside contractors, it says.

Black Duck CEO Douglas A. Levin said, “Executives are looking for ways to realize [open source software] benefits, while simultaneously [ensuring] they meet their obligations to its authors and the community. We are excited to bring our expertise to OSDL and its member companies to further accelerate the adoption of Linux and open source software.”

OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen said, “Black Duck is helping the Linux industry gain more peace of mind about running open source software. We look forward to their contributions to OSDL's initiatives around legal issues.”

Black Duck is a start-up that netted a $5 million investment round last July, shortly before announcing a partnership with Linux distributor Red Hat.

In related news, Black Duck's general counsel Karen Copenhaver, and its director of consulting services, Kevin Bedell, will present tutorials on open source software use, licensing, and best practices at the OSDL Enterprise Linux Summit on January 31 and February 1, 2005 in Burlingame, CA, where Black Duck Software will also demonstrate its ProtexIP tools.

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