VALIDOS - Open Source Compliance for Businesses
Working as an outside counsel, it has happened to me more than once that our firm has been asked to legally validate an open source / FOSS package that somebody else already asked us to validate.
The validation work, comprising of reviewing the technical and legal qualities of a software package, is conventionally done in each company separately, i.e. many times. The basic part of the work is very similar in every user (redistributor) entity.
So, with this in mind, I realised that companies should actually co-operate in the validation effort. Instead of each company validating each component separately, this could be done together, only once. This method provides several advantages. To describe the most obvious ones:
Validos helps companies in using open source software in their products and projects. Nowadays, software is to be found in different devices from instruments to televisions. Currently, Validos focuses on package-level compliance and provides reports on compliance and instructions for redistribution. Previously compliance work has been done separately inside each company, i.e. many times, but now Validos enables the companies to do this only once and to share the results of validation within the collaboration.
For this purpose, a number of companies have established Validos ry, a Finnish registered association that manages the collaborative work and holds and shares the resulting database.
Frequently Asked Questions - Open Source Software in Business Use:
(See the glossary if open source is new to you.)
- Open Source - Why Would We Want to Use It? / What Benefit Does It Bring to the Company?
- Where Can Open Source Software Be Found / Who Makes It? Why Is It Made?
- What is Open Source? Is this a New Thing?
- Which are Well-known Open Source Projects? Where are They Used?
- Can We Download an Open Source Software from the Intenet? How/Why?
- What kind of Conditions Apply to Open Source Software? What are Licenses?
- Can We Modify OS Software?