Free Software Foundation Europe signs up first project to FLA licence

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has signed up the first licensee for its Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA), whereby copyright is signed over to the FSFE who will in turn provide legal protection.

The first company to join the initiative is the network backup project Bacula, which builds software to manage the backup, recovery and verification of data on a network of hetergeneous hardware.

In the US, legal protection for copyrights of free software projects is handled by the Free Software Foundation, but European copyright law differs significantly enough to require a separate arrangement.

Under the FLA, the FSFE’s Freedom Task Force will handle education, fiduciary activities, protection and guidance services for Bacula, including legal protection and the enforcement of licences. Bacula is licensed under a modified version of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).

The Freedom Task Force (FTF) is a network of legal and technical volunteers whose expertise will be drawn on as needed under a coordinator. Shane Coughlan, FTF Coordinator, explains: ‘The FTF is committed to making projects more secure. The Fiduciary licence Agreement is one part of this. We want to allow developers to focus on their core work. That’s why we are taking care of the legal side of things while Kern continues making a fantastic network backup system.’

Kern Sibbald, founder and lead developer of the Bacula network backup solution, said: ‘I wanted to underline the commitment of the Bacula Project to Free Software. Bacula has always been a community project and we’re just solidifying that for the long-term. I am very thankful that the FSFE is providing this service because it removes an important administrative burden from the project, which allows us to focus on the task of programming.’

‘We are delighted to help Bacula accomplish its full potential. The Free Software ecosystem is maturing rapidly these days and the Freedom Task Force with its Fiduciary Licence Agreement, licensing education, licensing advice and enforcement services is an important part in this,’ said FSFE president Georg Greve. ‘We very much thank Stichting NLnet for doing their part in making this possible, and hope that others will step up to likewise support this effort.’

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