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FOSS license compliance in the consumer electronics market

Sep 25, 2009, 20:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Shane Coughlan, Armijn Hemel)

"Due to the relative youth of the FOSS ecosystem, there is a lack of case law and best practice information available. In the past, one of the few resources available to the community was Debian Legal, and businesses had little beyond Open Bar (USA) and ifrOSS (EU) to support them.

"That situation is improving. Organizations like FSF's Free Software Licensing and Compliance Lab, gpl-violations.org, FSFE's Freedom Task Force and Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) have helped push professional legal and business approaches to the forefront of FOSS discourse. The recent launch of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review has provided a neutral platform for future discussions. As FOSS has matured so too has the level of information accessible to support businesses and projects. The consumer electronics business

"Consumer electronics are sold in high volumes for low margins, and competition in the market is fierce. The majority of sales take place during the first three months after launch and consumers focus on price and functionality when selecting new technology. Products are developed in Asia by original device manufacturers (ODMs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and shipped in completed form. There are few western companies doing their own development, and even those with in-house skills are unlikely to build a finished product themselves."

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