Open source attribution licence approved

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Software developer Socialtext officially became open source last week when the Open Source Initiative (OSI) officially approved the Common Public Attribution Licence (CPAL) for its wiki software.

Socialtext submitted the CPAL in June, causing something of a stir in the open source community. The licence has been likened to so called ‘badgeware’, often used by non-OSI approved open source companies.

It requires that companies employing open source make the origin of the code clear, usually by displaying a logo attributed to the source company.

Many fear that open source users will end up having to display a dizzying array of logos, or else pay the companies a fee to avoid doing so.

Some proponents of the licence claim that it is an attack on companies that use open source code without attribution and don’t give anything back to the open source community.

It is also thought that larger companies will devote a considerable amount of time and resources to developing their own code to get around the clauses in the licence, even though the code required may have already been written.
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