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SCO Insurance Unveiled

SCO Insurance Unveiled

Year-old SCO-inspired Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) has formally unveiled that open source insurance policy it's been promising. It's proposing to scan people's code - everybody's open source code is presumably different because you can muck with it - and indemnify companies against any and all IP-related litigation, not just SCO's. It says that the indemnities offered by, say, HP or Novell is void if the code is modified.

The start-up claims its code-scanning and copyright infringement detection technologies have been developed with input from a "confidential" group of unnamed CIOs and lawyers from Fortune 500 Linux users. Its widgetry is supposed to identify the most likely sources of plausible legal claims, OSRM said. The company would then offer a customer risk mitigation consulting, based on best practices protocols.

To endear itself to the open source community, OSRM is funding the Unix Timeline Project chartered to track down all the Unix copyrights that could lead to open source legal claims. OSRM hired Groklaw creator Pamela "PJ" Jones to lead the project, which is now supposed to have 400 volunteer contributors.

Of course, Sun lawyers, back when Sun was thinking about open sourcing Solaris, tried to track down all the IP sources for Solaris. They couldn't and Sun spiked the idea.

Another start-up by the name of Black Duck Software that was also founded last year, this one by a former Microsoft senior executive, is also set up to shake copyrighted code out of open source.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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