News: Course is designed to help developers to understand how open source licensing works.
The Linux Foundation has opened up a free course for developers designed to help them understand legal and licensing issues when building and using open source software.
The Open Source Compliance Basics for Developers (LFC191) course is aimed at developers but it can also be undertaken by IT managers, legal teams and others that are looking at or are already using open source software.
The goal of the course is to help people to understand how exactly open source licensing works and to dispel the myth that open source means that it is free to use however they want. This has been disproven on numerous occasions with issues occurring around copyright, patents, the right to distribute code and the requirements to file changes.
Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director said: "The easier it is to understand, comply with and manage open source software and licensing, the more code that gets shared for everyone and the more innovation that takes place."
Although the foundation says that complying to open source licenses isn’t difficult, it does recommend undergoing the course in order to properly understand it. The problems around legal and licensing issues have become more apparent as the open source community has grown to occupy an increasingly large portion of the tech market.
The course will teach developers about the role of copyright in open source licensing, as well as details on copyright law and patents as they apply to open source.
The idea is to help streamline the process and by offering it free under the CC BY-SA 4.0 Creative Commons license, it is hoped that a large amount of people will undertake it.
The course will consist of five modules with each of them containing lessons and exercises.
This isn’t the only Open Compliance program that the Linux Foundation has in its portfolio with others including SPDX, a common language for sharing license information; FOSSology, an open source license compliance software system and toolkit; and OpenChain, which standardizes best practices for open source compliance.
Those that are interested in taking the course can register at the Linux Foundation website.