Should we be looking towards a Compliance Lab in India ?

FSF has a GPL Software Certification Program and Compliance Lab. To quote from the link –

The certification program provides corporations with the assurances they require when building products upon a Free Software infrastructure. When you purchase certification, FSF undertakes a comprehensive engineering and legal review of your software release to ensure that your work has been done in compliance with GPL and related Free Software licenses.

. The question is that should we begin to look at a similar function in India ?

This is an important issue when considering the various structural components of Indic L10n. More importantly, when considering the important issues of fonts and converters. My dear friend Venkatesh Hariharan often laments about the availability of good quality of fonts in the various Indian languages. Even those that are available are having unclear licensing regimes. Perhaps this is one of the reasons which prompted Soumyadip to make this post.

The Free Software Foundation has a strong presence in India, and given the stellar role it has been playing in terms of influencing policy decisions related to use of Free software in e-Governance, Education and the like, perhaps it will not be out of bounds for it to take it on. Being a proud member of the body, I am well aware as to the shortage of manpower and the sheer lack of resources. Perhaps this is the best time to address these issues.

When discussing the idea amongst a few friends, the one refrain that I heard was that this might lead to a duplication of the efforts. I think not. Prima facie it does. But if we look deeper into the matter, the members of FSF-India are very much aware and involved in the Indic L10n process. In fact, the Indic L10n community is small and tightly integrated. Thus, a preliminary validation of the licenses could be easily carried out.

An immediate benefit of such an activity might be the prevention of case where unwittingly GPL/GPL-like license violation takes place.

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