One of the most important, but often overlooked, knowledge areas for developers utilizing open source software is not how to technically use the software, but how to do so in a way that is compliant with open source licenses. Most developers aren’t lawyers and may not be aware of why compliance matters. License compliance is important for those developers, as well as their employers and customers, not only because it enables the sharing that drives open source collaboration, but also as a way of respecting the communities that make the products of their efforts freely available.
That’s why The Linux Foundation offers a free, online training course, Open Source Licensing Basics for Software Developers, which is designed to teach software developers and producers in only two hours why it is important to add copyright and license notices to their code, as well as how to do so.
We’re excited to announce that we have now surpassed 5,000 developers who have taken the course, helping them minimize problems and ambiguity in managing open source licenses. Understanding why and how to convey license information effectively is useful regardless of whether a developer is working on internal projects, contributing to open source communities, or otherwise using open source code.
Open Source Licensing Basics for Software Developers was recently updated and refreshed by Kate Stewart, Senior Director of Strategic Programs, and Steve Winslow, Director of Strategic Programs at The Linux Foundation. Kate draws upon 15 years of experience managing teams contributing to open source projects, and is responsible for the Open Compliance program encompassing SPDX, FOSSology, OpenChain, and ACT. Steve is the co-lead for the SPDX legal team, runs The Linux Foundation’s license scanning and analysis support program, and works with projects and the foundation on other legal and licensing matters.
Developers who work with open source software and others who are responsible for open source compliance issues in their organizations are encouraged to complete this course. Enrollment is open!