Open Source has grown from a mere idea to a philosophy that drives some of the most crucial innovations around the world. The concept of reviewing code made by others, introducing your own changes, and then distributing the code back to the community creates a feedback loop that helps individual developers accomplish much more as a community than what they can do alone.
The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization that promotes the Linux kernel and open source development, recognizes the importance of licensing in the open source environment. Licensing not only helps decide who can use licensed code and how it can be used, but it also sets ground rules on further distribution, contributions, and monetization. A good working knowledge of the various open source licenses and their compliance is critical knowledge for software developers, especially those who deal with open source code.
This is why The Linux Foundation has launched a course to teach software developers and producers why it is important to add copyrights and licenses to their code and how to do so. The course provides an overview of the types of licenses to consider as well as the other permissions that may be needed prior to external contribution. Students in this course will be taught how to create file notices with copyrights and licenses with an aim to eliminate ambiguity and hopefully minimize licensing problems. The skills developed during the course will be useful for internal projects in the corporate world as well as contributing to open source projects.
Best of all, the course is provided for free. No prior training or knowledge is required before enrolling for this course. To enroll and to know more, head on over to the course page.
Despite strong commercialization of closed source code, Open Source Software and code still find a place in our daily lives. By promoting open source contributions and activities, like XDA’s own bid for Google Summer of Code, we hope to do our part in this great cause.