By Ciaran Farrell
SUSE is announcing today that it is committing to extending additional rights to help solve open source compliance errors by providing a period in which companies can cure such errors. This approach by SUSE will promote greater predictability in open source licensing and increase participation in open source software development and deployment. It is consistent with the termination provisions of GPL-3.0 and the approach taken by others such as CA Technologies, Cisco, Facebook, Google, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat and SAP.
The GNU General Public License (GPL) and GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) are among the most widely used open source software licenses covering many important software projects, including the Linux kernel. GPL-3.0 introduced an approach to termination that offers an opportunity for users to correct errors in license compliance. This approach allows for enforcement of license compliance consistent with community norms. Heavy-handed approaches to enforcement, particularly those focusing on financial gain, are out of place in our community.
“SUSE believes promoting more equitable and consistent practices in open source license enforcement will increase both participation in the open source community and actual value derived from open source software by developers and users,” said Nils Brauckmann, SUSE CEO. “As other GPLv2 copyright holders embrace this licensing approach, the resulting growth in development and adoption will, in turn, fuel greater innovation and opportunity.”
Eileen Evans, Micro Focus deputy general counsel and board member of the Linux Foundation, said, “It is heartening to see such a diverse group of companies standing behind the common cause of promoting fairness in license compliance. This initiative will both further confidence in open source and support its future growth.”
SUSE’s entire commitment statement can be found here.