OSCAd, the Open Source Compliance Advisor is the online version of the OSLiC for enabling companies and other groups easier to assure that their guys act according to the Open Source Licenses.
As an employee of Deutsche Telekom AG and as Principal Open Source Advisor in the Telekom Open Source Program Office, I had the honor to develop and maintain this tool for decades. The readme file in the GitHub repository describes the goals in something like this:
The abbreviation ‘OSCAd’ stands for [Telekom] Open Source Compliance Advisor. The filename or package name is ‘oscad’. The respective tool is the interactive version of the Open Source License Compendium, and shall specify how to use open-source software compliantly. In particular, it shall …
- support open-source users to act according to the open-source license requirements without having to become license experts themselves
- offer strongly reliable and quickly accessible instructions (to-do lists) on how to fulfill the conditions of an open-source license
The OSCAd is a web-based HTML frontend combined with a PHP backend. This system delivers use-case- and license-specific to-do lists whose execution would fulfill the obligations required by the respective FOSS licenses. Subsequently, OSLiC and OSCAd became a basis for OSCake.
And in what way is this …
… part of the overarching topic FOSS Compliance? For fulfilling the requirements of FOSS licenses, we have to consider specific individual cases as well as side effects — for software, pictures, or documents. We should unhide trends and write guidelines. Above all, however, we must drive forward the automation of license fulfillment, make our licensing knowledge freely available, cast it into smaller tools, and bring it into larger systems: Because FOSS thrives on freedom through license fulfillment, large and small. That’s what also this article is about.