It is designed to provide software developers with knowledge about legal and licensing issues for building and using open source software.
According to the Linux Foundation, complying with open source licences doesn’t have to be difficult, but “it does require training and is essential for anyone building or contributing to open source code bases today”.
The increasing use of open source software means that developers and open source managers need to acquire core competency in compliance and other areas of open source management.
Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, writes:
“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. By lowering the cost and complexity of compliance we hope we can increase the ability for everyone to share”
Open Source Compliance Basics for Developers (LFC191) teaches 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.
“Understanding how copyrights and licenses work and being able to clearly and accurately specify them is key to making sure that software is accepted into projects,” says the Linux Foundation.
The course is offered under a CC BY-SA 4.0 (Creative Commons) license, allowing anyone to share the course material free of charge with the option to contribute feedback and suggest improvements to it, similar to any open source software project.
It consists of five modules, each containing lessons and exercises intended to efficiently and effectively relay the required information. A final exam is required in order to pass the course.
Individuals interested in taking Open Source Compliance Basics for Developers may register for the course.