JBoss Group LLC, the company that provides solutions around the open-source JBoss application server, said it will indemnify its customers against any claims relating to copyright or patent issues.
Bob Bickel, vice president of strategy and corporate development for the Atlanta-based company, said, "Were trying to make open source safe for commercial use."
Bickel said of JBoss customers: "If someone approaches them with any copyright or patent claims, they can shove that back to JBoss and well handle it."
Bickel said the move follows two the company made in October to boost the use of JBoss in the enterprise. One was the addition of 24x7 support, and the other was a new partnering program.
Of the indemnification, Bickel said "its a normal thing in commercial licenses and just not done in the open-source world." However, "at the end of the day were a commercial company. Our natural competitor is BEA [Systems Inc.], and we want to be able to deliver similar licensing as they do."
In other licensing news, Bickel said JBoss was close to signing a licensing agreement with Sun Microsystems Inc. In fact, sources said the company could have an agreement within the next week or so.
"The J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] situation is coming to a head," Bickel said. He added that JBoss had hired the Boston law firm of Testa, Hurwitz and Thibeault LLP to represent and advise the company on the licensing terms.
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