Novell Offers Indemnification for Linux Customers

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Linux and open-source technologies have seen rapid growth in the past few years. Along with that growth have come legal challenges, and enterprises considering investing in Linux have been faced with concerns of indemnification—traditionally available for proprietary software but not usually available for Linux offerings. Novell, which recently closed its acquisition of SUSE LINUX, has announced that it will offer its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server customers an indemnification program to protect them against intellectual property challenges.

 

 

 

In addition, legal funds have been established by Red Hat, a Linux provider, and by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a consortium of technology companies committed to speeding Linux adoption around the world.

 

 

 

Novell’s Linux Indemnification Program will provide qualified customers protection against copyright infringement claims made by third parties against registered users. Qualified customers must have SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 and obtain upgrade protection and a qualifying technical support contract, either from Novell or from one of its or SUSE LINUX’s participating channel partners. More information on indemnification is available at http://www.novell.com/licensing/indemnity.

 

 

 

The OSDL has set up a legal defense fund to defray the expenses of Linux users involved in litigation with The SCO Group on issues affecting the Linux industry and community. OSDL’s goal is to raise $10 million for the fund. It is accepting donations from individuals, organizations and companies. So far, companies such as IBM, Intel and MontaVista Software have pledged more than $3 million for the fund. See http://www.osdl.org/lldf/lldf_description.html.

 

 

 

Red Hat has also established a legal fund, called the Open Source Now Fund. The fund is intended to cover legal expenses associated with infringement claims brought against companies developing software under the GPL license and nonprofit organizations supporting companies that are developing software under a GPL license. Red Hat pledged $1 million as funding for the initiative. For more information, see http://www.redhat.com/opensourcenow.

 

 

Emily Hollis is managing editor for Certification Magazine. She can be reached at ehollis@certmag.com. 

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