Packaging Open Source

Mark H. Webbink
2010 International Free and Open Source Software Law Review  
Now with the increasing popularity of virtual computing environments we are observing the packaging of operating systems, including Linux, with applications to create software appliances, essentially applications that carry their operating system with them. With this rapidly expanding market opportunity, traditional proprietary software vendors are increasingly interested in the "rules of the road" for open source licensing and, in particular, for packaging Linux with an application into a
more » ... ication into a software appliance. This paper is intended to provide background information for such application developers interested in creating software appliances utilizing open source components while ensuring both their open source license obligations as well as protection of their own copyrights and patents. Info This item is part of the Articles section of IFOSS L. Rev. For more information, please consult the relevant section policies statement. This article has been independently peer-reviewed. Running proprietary (non-open source) software on an open source operating system, such as Linux, has become commonplace. Major proprietary software vendors such as IBM, Oracle, and Adobe have adapted their proprietary applications to run on top of a Linux operating system without concern for open source licensing issues. In addition, Linux vendors frequently ship proprietary applications with their Linux distributions, although the packaging practices and open source license compliance may vary from one to the next. Major device manufacturers, including Sony, Philips, Cisco, and Nokia, have utilized a Linux operating system in both their open (modifiable) and closed (non-modifiable) devices for some time, although their open source license compliance has also frequently required greater effort. Even with open source versions of JAVA we are seeing both open source and proprietary files combined in the same class libraries. Now with the increasing popularity of virtual computing environments we are observing the packaging of operating systems, including Linux, with applications to create software appliances, essentially applications that carry their operating system with them. With this rapidly expanding market opportunity, traditional proprietary software vendors are increasingly interested in the "rules of the road" for open source licensing and, in particular, for packaging Linux with an application into a software appliance. This paper is intended to provide background information
doi:10.5033/ifosslr.v1i2.26 fatcat:p4n2qe5k6fdwvfksqv5v57tfoi