Stormy Peters over on the OpenLogic Blog has just officially announced the release of OpenLogic’s OSS Discovery tool as open source software under v3 of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL). I know that the folks at OpenLogic have been hard at work on this project for some time and are quite excited about the release. OSS Discovery is a very useful piece of software (now fully open source) that can be used to find installed instances of open source software — either on a single computer or across an entire enterprise network. Having this functionality now available to everyone under an open source license makes OSS Discovery that much more useful (and powerful).
Given the current open source software license enforcement environment, the timing of this move could not have been better. While OSS Discovery may or may not have helped the defendants in the current BusyBox lawsuits — as the allegations in those cases relate to the distribution of BusyBox on consumer electronic devices, not use on an enterprise network — OSS Discovery can help enterprises determine if they are currently using BusyBox or any other open source software on their networks and enable them to take steps to ensure that they are in compliance with the open source software licenses applicable to that software. Knowledge of open source software usage is a crucial first step in any open source software license compliance process and the availability of a tool like OSS Discovery under the AGPL will be a great help to many enterprises in acquiring this knowledge. I encourage you to check it out.