andrew's blog

FOSSBazaar is no longer being updated. The information on this site is preserved for your convenience but may be out of date. Please visit Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Program for current information and activities.

An Insight into Open Source Initiatives at BT

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Both BT's open source innovation capability, Osmosoft, and its open source governance unit, the Open Source Operations Team, aim to operate in as transparent a manner as possible. In support of this we contribute to initiatives such as FOSSBazaar and the European Legal Network, and where possible publish information about how we deliver using F/OSS technologies and how we implement the associated governance.


BT recently had an article on open source initiatives published in the Institute of Telecommunications Professionals Journal. This covers topics such as:


Olswang Open Source Summit

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On 1st December Olswang held their third and final Open Source Summit in London. For one reason or another I'd been unable to attend the 2007 and 2008 events, and was glad that I was last week finally able to make it along.


Olswang are a law firm and so as you would expect the summit focused on open source legal matters. We were treated to a keynote from Bruce Perens and the overall quality of the event was very high. Numerous topics were covered over the course of the morning and a few notes follow.


Due diligence

F/OSS and the Public Sector

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I've long held the view that the public sector stands to gain more from the adoption of F/OSS technology and principles than perhaps any other area. This is not just about saving on software licensing, reducing integration and support costs, fostering reuse and increasing the transparency of software projects. As if these benefits alone were not enough: costs are frequently an issue and transparency can be a serious problem where huge, complex, drawn-out and all-too-often-prone-to-failure public sector ICT projects are concerned. More than this, though, an opportunity exists to create, as Dan Bricklin called it in his article Software That Lasts Two Hundred Years, "Societal Infrastructure Software".


Accelerating Enterprise adoption of Open Source. London, 05/10/09.

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Whilst an increasing number of people and organisations are now able to position F/OSS within the context of the traditional IT organisation and wider enterprise, there are still a great many for whom questions remain unanswered. Where the seasoned F/OSS advocate celebrates and uses to their and their employer's advantage the choice, flexibility and empowerment that F/OSS affords, it can leave those who are used to being vendor-led in a position of uncertainty and with significant perceived obstacles to adoption. It is one thing to appreciate the F/OSS value proposition, and quite something else to be in a position to be able to actually reap those rewards through effective adoption and beyond that through participation.


Enterprises must update their understanding.


The Far-reaching Implications of Licence Violation

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When we think about the implications of non-compliance with F/OSS licensing the considerations tend to be around legal exposure and concern that the conditions of a reciprocal license, e.g. the GPL, may propagate into proprietary code. When risk is assessed it is usually in terms of the possibility of litigation and the associated costs, and/or the weakening of business models that are based upon exercising exclusive rights in connection with associated proprietary IP.