Buying an open source project

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Saturday, August 18. 2007 in Open Source

In case you haven't heard, SourceFire has "acquired" (their term) the ClamAV Open Source Project. In case you are as puzzled as many people are about what this means, they have provided a nice FAQ to answer some questions... The FAQ states that they bought the "project" (whatever that means) as well as the trademarks associated with the project and whatever copyrights were held by the "five principal members of the ClamAV team." But the big question is what does SourceFire intend to do with it? They certainly can't take ClamAV and put it into a proprietary closed-source project, since they don't own all the copyrights. I'm sure they could take a substantial chunk, but pulling out the stuff they don't own with what they do would be quite an undertaking. So I'm guessng they will be investing in continued development of the ClamAV code and project, which continue to be under GPL. Of course, this is familiar territory for SourceFire, since their start was with Snort, so it will be interesing to see how the licensing of ClamAV might change based on what was done with Snort.

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