EOLE / OWF 12 - License compatibility analysis and components based systems in public research - presentation of a practical approach-magali fitzgibbon (eole2012)
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EOLE / OWF 12 - License compatibility analysis and components based systems in public research - presentation of a practical approach-magali fitzgibbon (eole2012)

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EOLE / OWF 12 - License compatibility analysis and components based systems in public research - presentation of a practical approach-magali fitzgibbon (eole2012) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. License compatibility analysis and component basedsystems in public research: presentation of a practicalapproachEOLE Conference – 12/10/2012 Magali Fitzgibbon – Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 2. CONTEXTMagali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 3. A (very) short presentation of Inria…Inria : French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automatic Control8 research centers in France + head office(corporate level and local TTOs)Missions include: => fundamental and applicative research => dissemination of scientific knowledge => contributing to standardization => providing prototypes (technology transfer) Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 4. Software prototypes @Inria- Important number of software distributed under a FLOSS license- Technology transfer includes operations based on open source software (in particular by spin-off creation)- Reuse of open source preexisting components is a usual developing practice at Inria. => This leads de facto to license compatibility issues… Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 5. Software development process (seen from the legal / TTO point of view) Licensing in  STRATEGY (legal compatibility)  Licensing out Code reuse Software : set of components exploitation (pre-existing components) (with new “ex-nihilo”components) L Licensing out 1 choice Component Licensing in based systems Policy Legal status of software (Not so easy to defined)Legal status of componentsComponent’s licenceUsually well defined Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 6. Such an exercise can turn out to be difficult…License compatibility – the difficulties encountered by lawyers and TT managers:• To be familiar and deal with an important number and diversity of FLOSS licenses (jungle)• Vocabulary used in FLOSS licenses is not standardized But not only… Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 7. Reality is more than a theoretical comparison of several licenses – context/object of analysis are crucial• Great diversity of software and software architecture (how can architecture be useful for the analysis?)• Inria’s software can be made of an important number of preexisting components, usually under a FLOSS license …• … and can be developed on long period of times (10-15 years) by numerous contributors (How do you actually identify the licenses to be analyzed?)• Licensing out strategies may change during software’s life cycle (What incidence on license compatibility issues?) Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 8. Given these elements, what could be a good approach for license compatibility issues in component based systems? Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 9. I. License compatibility analysis and software’s architecture/detailed description Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 10. The 3 good reasons to ask for software’s detailed description Identify the scope of the analysis… and be sure that everyone actually talks of the same thing! Easier in case of software with a “modular licensing strategy” Makes dialogue easier with researchers/developers Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 11. Using software’s architecture – the example of DIET software (monitoring High Performance Computing Infrastructures) Source: Qualipso – Report on the proposed IPR tracking methodology – 16/12/2009 – www.qualipso.org Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 12. II. How can I identify licenses to be analyzed in a (large) component based system? Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 13. Asking the development/research team:Software’s contributors point of view and memory is essential (Inria assume people areof good faith)…… but it is nevertheless often incomplete!⇒ Components’ origin and license issues are not always a priority at the beginning of a project (POC)⇒ Keeping a good track of what happened in a 5, 10 or 20 year development period is difficult in public research (people come and go) Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 14. Example of a representation of authors’ appearance/disappearance and evolution of % contribution to source codeA different (and complementary) source of information is usually needed… Source/copyright owner: Antelink - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 15. Looking « by hand » in all header files to check for licensesCosts of analysis quickly turn to be high… Example: a software of 100 000 files = you can keep a lawyer busy a few weeks…… which means that ROI is not always satisfactory. Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 16. Using tools: the « industrial way »Code mining tools, license checkers… They allow to gain time… … and can therefore reduce costs of analysis!Components’ license information in header files can now be as « opened » as open source software! The experienced turned out be positive as far as Inria is concerned Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 17. However… Never forget that information still needs to be qualified!• Identifying licenses is only a start…• Comparing a list of licenses, obtained with a tool, with your licensing-out strategy is not sufficient for analysis to be efficient/complete!• Tools help/provide assistance but do not fulfill the analysis Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 18. Examples1. An important number of files identified in one of Inria’s software with an Eclipsepublic licenseBut…… after qualifying this information, the « EPL files » turned out to be source codegenerated by Inria’s developers with Eclipse’s framework2. Incompatible License identified in one of Inria’s softwareBut…It turned ou that headers were not up-to-date concerning license information Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 19. Qualifying information requires discussion between lawyers, TT managers and researchers/developers Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 20. III. Licensing-out strategy’s evolution during life cycle : what is the incidence? Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 21. What changing of licensing-out strategy means• The previous licensing-in policy (if any!) may not be pertinent anymore…• … which means that software’s exogenous components’ licenses may not be compliant with the new licensing-out strategy…• What if the previous software’s license is compatible with the new one? => Beware! Does not mean that components’ licenses are compliant! Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 22. Example A software initially distributed under a GNU LGPL v2.1 license A licensing-in policy was defined Research team’s intentions change in favour of a dual licensing scheme : GNU GPL v2 and proprietary license Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 23. What the analysis revealed about the past… Example of licenses found during Compliance with the analysis (for exogenous previous GNU LGPL components) strategy Apache v.1 YES Apache v.2 YES Eclipse public license YES BSD (new) YESMagali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 24. What the analysis revealed about the present/future…Example of licenses found during Compliance with GNUthe analysis (for exogenous GPL v2componentsApache v.1 NOApache v.2 NOEclipse public license NOBSD (new) YES Hopefully, solutions could be found… But shows that costs to make software legally compliant, when strategy changes, can actually become an issueMagali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 25. The 2nd part of the « story »: the legal issue did not turned out to be the only one… Was the dual scheme really pertinent/appropriate? People are willing to pay for a proprietary license if they wish to redistribute themselves under a proprietary license (and avoid GNU GPL’s constraints) But, if a similar version is available somewhere under the GNU LGPL… GNU GPL version of software needs to be sufficiently different from the previous GNU LGPL version! Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 26. What comparison of source code revealed Source/copyright owner: Antelink - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 27. ConclusionLicense compatibility analysis for components based systems in public research isalways : the encounter between particular software, a development and an exploitation strategies Team work between lawyers, TT managers and researchers/developpers And therefore a smart use and combination of people’s competence/experience and toolsWhich means that lawyers do not only need to rely on their « legal » expertise: basic knowledge and curiosity of what are software and software development, is helpful Magali Fitzgibbon -Technology Transfer and Innovation Department - CC BY- NC-ND 2.0
  • 28. Thank you!www.inria.frReport on the proposed IPR Tracking methodology (L. Grateau, M. Fitzgibbon, G. Rousseau)http://www.inria.fr/content/download/6143/55776/version/2/file/Methodologie-d-analyse-IPR.pdfQualipso EU funded projectwww.qualipso.orgGuide d’approche et d’analyse des licences de logiciels libres (S. Steer, M. Fitzgibbon)http://www.inria.fr/content/download/5892/48431/version/2/file/INRIA_guide_analyse_licences_libres_vf.pdfRecueil de fiches explicatives de licences libres (S. Steer, M. Fitzgibbon)http://www.inria.fr/content/download/5892/48431/version/2/file/INRIA_guide_analyse_licences_libres_vf.pdf Magali Fitzgibbon magali.fitzgibbon@inria.fr http://www.linkedin.com/pub/magali-fitzgibbon/3a/390/76a