NEW YORK, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Software Freedom Law Center
(SFLC), provider of pro-bono legal services to protect and advance Free and
Open Source Software (FOSS), today released an opinion assuring developers
that they can legally implement OpenDocument Format (ODF) in free and open
source software. OpenDocument Format is a free file format for saving and
exchanging editable documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations.
In the current climate of uncertainty surrounding patents, FOSS
developers have been reluctant to implement programs if compatibility with
GPL is in question. These concerns about ODF recently prompted a number of
the Law Center's clients to seek a legal opinion before implementing the
format in free and open source programs. The Center researched the issue
and has now published an opinion assuring developers that there are no
legal barriers to using ODF.
"A number of our clients asked us to determine whether ODF is truly
free of patent, copyright and trademark encumbrances. We looked into the
issue, and are confident that developers can use ODF in free software,"
said James Vasile, SFLC Legal Counsel. "ODF is GPL-compatible."
OpenDocument Format is a truly open standard that can be implemented by
free and proprietary software alike. It is quickly becoming the standard
file format for people that want to avoid becoming dependent on any
particular software vendor.
"I'm pleased that the SFLC has definitively spoken on ODF," said Chris
DiBona, Open Source Program Manager at Google, Inc. "Free software
developers need to be able to use ODF without worrying about litigation or
licensing fees, and it's great to hear the SFLC say they can do just that."
"I am excited to hear that integration of OpenDocument Format into
Plone is a technical challenge, not a legal one," said Joel Burton, Chair
of the Plone Foundation, which supports development of Plone, an open
source content management system. "The SFLC opinion provides a novel
opportunity for our users and developers -- an opportunity that would not
be possible without the Law Center's legal advice."
The SFLC opinion is available online at
About The Software Freedom Law Center
The Software Freedom Law Center -- chaired by Eben Moglen, one of the
world's leading experts on copyright law as applied to software -- provides
legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance
Free and Open Source Software. The Law Center is dedicated to assisting
non- profit open source developers and projects. For criteria on
eligibility and to apply for assistance, please contact the Law Center
directly or visit the Web at http://www.softwarefreedom.org.
SOURCE Software Freedom Law Center