NEW YORK, April 19, 2004 — Open Source Risk Management
(OSRM), the only vendor-neutral provider of Open Source risk mitigation and coordinated legal defense services, today announced the creation of the Open Source Legal Defense Center. This center will offer Open Source developers and end users coordinated legal defense services, provided by leading experts in software intellectual property (IP) law from top legal firms across the United States. As most Open Source lawsuits address common technical and legal issues, OSRM can offer clients substantial cost efficiencies and stronger defense by providing shared technical information and specialized legal counsel. Based in Washington, D.C., the center is initially offering two targeted membership
programs: one for potential corporate SCO defendants, and another for individual contributors to the Linux kernel.
Approximately 1,500 corporations in the U.S. received
letters from SCO threatening litigation over their use of
the Linux operating system, which SCO alleges infringes its intellectual property rights. OSRM will provide coordinated legal defense services for these potential SCO defendants, enabling them to build a more powerful defense at significant cost savings. This center will act as a central forum for confidentially gathering and sharing resources about issues common across the potential defendants; and will give clients access to highly specialized IP lawyers who are already fully knowledgeable about these very technical lawsuits. Members will be able to contribute resources anonymously and communicate in complete confidentially with other members facing similar issues. Corporate membership in the program is $100,000 annually for resources that would cost in the millions if developed independently.
“By threatening this group of large companies with
litigation, SCO made their risk on Linux IP issues largely uninsurable. Ironically, what SCO also did is provide a compelling incentive for them to band together in united defense. We are providing them the infrastructure and forum to do so,” said Daniel Egger, chairman and founder of Open Source Risk Management. “This program builds on the success we have had with our confidential OSRM Working Group meetings, which have brought together CIOs and General Counsels of Global 1000 Companies to discuss risk mitigation strategies and best practices for Open Source IP defense.”
OSRM is also offering the full resources of the Open Source Legal Defense Center to individual contributors to the Linux kernel. Individual developers will have access to the same panel of specialized IP legal experts available to OSRM’s large corporate clients, and can seek advice and services to help protect and defend their own intellectual property rights. As part of this $250 per year membership, developers will also receive $25,000 in legal backing from OSRM if they are named in future lawsuits involving their contributions to Linux.
“The Open Source community has already proved itself capable
of very impressive ‘distributed research,’ collaborating on technical information that has proved critical in defending against SCO’s allegations to date,” said Daniel Egger. “OSRM intends to support this community response by providing further infrastructure to help Open Source users navigate the intricacies of the U.S. IP legal system.”
About Open Source Risk Management
Supported by top Open Source leaders and intellectual
property (IP) legal experts, Open Source Risk Management
(OSRM) is the industry’s only vendor-neutral provider of
Open Source risk mitigation, indemnification, and
coordinated legal defense services.
OSRM helps organizations assess potential legal risks around their use
of Open Source, and design risk mitigation solutions based
on a set of best practice protocols. Additionally, OSRM provides indemnification for legal claims against Open Source, currently offering legal backing for the Linux kernel versions 2.4 and 2.6. Through its Open Source Legal Defense Center, OSRM also works in tandem with highly specialized software IP lawyers to offer coordinated legal defense services.