SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Open Source Business Conference --
Open Source Risk Management (OSRM), the industry's only vendor-neutral
provider of Open Source risk protection services, today unveiled a
comprehensive set of services to help companies assess and mitigate the legal
risks of involvement with Open Source. The first vendor-neutral offering of
its kind, these services are based on OSRM's sophisticated code-scanning
technology and best practice protocols developed with the OSRM Working Group
of CIOs and legal counsel from Fortune 500 enterprise Linux users. Pioneering
a market estimated at $1 billion, OSRM is launching at this week's Open Source
Business Conference with support from top Open Source community leaders,
intellectual property (IP) legal experts and input from Fortune 500 Linux
Using sophisticated code-scanning and copyright infringement detection
technologies; OSRM assesses a client's code base and identifies the most
likely sources of plausible legal claims. The company then offers risk
mitigation consulting services, based on its set of best practices protocols.
Based on this code assessment, OSRM plans to offer indemnification packages, a
form of insurance-like protection against Open Source-related litigation.
As a vendor-neutral entity, OSRM can provide protection against a wider
range of claims than any single proprietary vendor. Proprietary vendors can
provide indemnification only for the exact code they sell. So, if customers
modify, share or fix their code -- all of the things that make Open Source
attractive -- their indemnification is voided. Only with vendor-neutral
indemnification can a customer's unique code base be assessed and insured;
preserving the benefits of Open Source while still protecting users.
"Rather than asking vendors to do what they will never feel comfortable
doing -- in effect asking them to indemnify their competitors' products and
services -- it is in the long-term interest of all Linux vendors to support a
collective vendor-neutral defense of Open Source," said Bruce Perens, one of
the founders of the Open Source movement. "As a result, Open Source users
will be better protected when using an alternative to proprietary software --
meaning that Open Source wins out, not only on grounds of efficiency, freedom,
and cost, but in regards comprehensive risk management as well."
Already, OSRM has garnered support for its approach from some of the top
intellectual property legal experts, including Heather Meeker and Henry W.
("Hank") Jones III; open source community leaders, including Bruce Perens; and
has begun consulting with several Fortune 500 companies. And, similar to the
Open Source model itself, OSRM has engaged the open source community by
funding the Unix Timeline Project. Created to track down all Unix copyrights
that could lead to Open Source legal claims, this project is led by Pamela
Jones, creator of Groklaw.net, and staffed by over 400 volunteer contributors,
including many of the original Unix creators and eminent technology
historians. The information gathered will be given back to the community and
utilized by OSRM in assessing client code risk.
OSRM's services are based on sophisticated code-scanning technology and a
set of best practice protocols for Open Source risk assessment and mitigation.
Using this technology, OSRM conducts intensive risk assessments of its
clients' code, based in part on OSRM's own proprietary VSearch(TM) risk
assessment algorithms. The best practice protocols used to help clients
design risk mitigation strategies were created with input from intellectual
property legal experts, and Fortune 500 Linux users involved in the OSRM
Working Group, a confidential forum to discuss best practices for using Open
Source, build strategies to address risk, and share information about the
"Open Source indemnification is clearly an issue people are concerned
about, and a solution people are excited about -- in my 12 years of experience
I have never seen greater interest and pent up demand for a brand new
offering," said Daniel Egger, chairman and founder of Open Source Risk
Management. "After meeting with numerous Open Source leaders, Fortune 500
CIOs, and intellectual property lawyers, it's clear there is a void in the
market and a need for the unique services OSRM will provide."
About Open Source Risk Management
Supported by top open source leaders and intellectual property legal
experts, Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) is the industry's only vendor-
neutral provider of open source risk assessment and mitigation services.
Using sophisticated code-scanning and copyright-infringement detection
technologies, OSRM helps organizations assess their potential risk and then
designs risk mitigation solutions based on a set of best practice protocols.
OSRM offers best practices training and consulting services, and will offer
comprehensive vendor-neutral insurance solutions.
For more information, please visit http://www.osriskmanagement.com/.
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