Facebook, Google, IBM, and Red Hat today announced they’re going to provide greater legal protection for some of the open source code they license. The companies committed to extend more rights to cure open source license compliance errors.

Their announcement relates to two widely used open source software licenses: The GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The GPL version 3 (GPLv3) introduced an express termination approach that offered users an opportunity to cure errors in license compliance, especially mistakes that are inadvertent.

Today, the four companies each committed to extend the GPLv3 approach for license compliance errors to the software code that each licenses under GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 and v2.

Michael Cunningham, general counsel of Red Hat, said in a statement: “We believe in promoting greater fairness and predictability in license enforcement and the growth of participation in the open source community. We encourage other GPLv2 copyright holders to follow our lead.”

Open Source Blossoms

According to new research from SDxCentral — the 2017 Open Source in Networking Report  — three types of licenses are used most frequently by open source networking projects: Apache, GPLv2, and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), with Apache being the most prevalent.

According to the report, the majority of end users such as cloud service providers, telecommunications service providers, and enterprises are using open source software in their networks.

SDxCentral’s research team asked community members if they had already incorporated any open source networking solutions. Of the 110 respondents to the question, 40 percent said “yes;” 24 percent indicated they were currently testing open source solutions; 26 percent said they weren’t testing open source but were interested in it; and only 10 percent said they had no plans to incorporate open source solutions into their network at this time.

When asked where they are deploying or plan to deploy open source solutions, 64 percent said in a private cloud. Forty percent said they were using or going to use open source in their mobile and WAN networks, while 38 percent said they are integrating or are looking to integrate open source networking solutions in their public cloud environments.

SDxCentral open source chart

The most popular open source networking solutions are OpenStack (55 percent), OpenvSwitch (55 percent), OpenDaylight (38 percent), DPDK (36 percent), ONAP (29 percent), and OpenSwitch (29 percent).

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