of this, Tolu makes it clear that FOSS remains a defiantly minority interest in Turkey. Why is this?
On a related note, readers may be aware of the adoption of FOSS in Europe by various public bodies.
Gijs Hillenius delves into this in an article that sweeps across the EU, providing clarity about the level
of FOSS adoption by public bodies in a range of countries, as well as considering central institutions
such as the European Commission, and how FOSS-friendly their policies are. Like Tolu’s article, Gijs
Hillenius does not shy away from practicalities such as vendor lock-in and persuading users of the
benefits of moving from familiar “closed” interfaces and formats to the open but unfamiliar.
Hillenius’ and Tolu’s articles will be of significant interest to both policymakers and those seeking to
influence organisations about FOSS, as well as those interested in public procurement laws.
The European Commission has gone several steps beyond being simply FOSS-friendly. In January
2007, it launched the European Union Public Licence (EUPL), a licence drafted to not only give
software freedoms, but also to address the needs of public bodies across the EU, such as having legal
instruments that work in all official EU languages. Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz’ article discusses this
licence, its origins, present and possible future. In a FOSS-world of continuing licence proliferation
and compatibility issues, Schmitz observes that the EUPL offers us a compromise between copyleft
and licence interoperability. Schmitz’ article gives us a greater understanding of this licence, and what
the future may hold for it.
One barrier facing many (theoretically) FOSS-friendly organisations is identifying licences applicable
to software components. If it takes a team of developers and lawyers to achieve this for each FOSS
package, then the use of FOSS becomes a resource issue. The Software Package Data Exchange®
(SPDX) project aims to reduce this barrier. The Linux Foundation announced the launch of SPDX to
the legal community in IFOSSLR in 2010, and so many readers will be familiar with it. In this issue,
we are brought up to date by Jilayne Lovejoy, Phil Odence and Scott Lamons, all of whom have
played significant roles in the development of SPDX. SPDX has much to offer for organisations
looking to bring certainty, speed and clarity to their use and development of FOSS. We all have the
opportunity to contribute to the on-going development of SPDX, to make it as effective as possible
for all our communities and organisations. We hope that you will join the SPDX community and aid
Whilst project names may at first seem to be a less weighty issue than those discussed above, the
name of a FOSS project can have a major impact on its success. Many well-known FOSS projects are
not known simply for the quality of their code, but also because they use strong, recognisable, names.
“Firefox” is a good example, as is “Linux” itself; the Linux Foundation even has its own trade mark
licensing and enforcement body. Whilst the FOSS world may have some strong trade marks, the
structure of many FOSS projects can raise potential issues when those projects wish to protect or
enforce “their” trade mark. In “Who owns the project name?”, Pamela Chestek explores these issues
as found under US law, and suggests various solutions. The article will be extremely useful to all
those who run FOSS projects.
In previous issues of IFOSSLR, we have seen analysis and opinion on aspects of the broader “open”
movement, such as open standards. In this issue, Kari Kärkkäinen reviews “Thoughts on Open
Innovation”, a book edited by Shane Coughlan, one of the founding coordinators of IFOSSLR, and
launched at the Digital Agenda Summit earlier this year. In the book, a selection of experts explore a
range of “open” subjects, including the open innovation concept, open standards and the
commercialisation of FOSS, and discuss practical examples. We commend readers to this review and,
of course, the book itself, which is available to view and download free-of-charge (under an
International Free and Open Source Software Law Review Vol. 5, Issue 2