As 2007 draws to a close, three emerging trends are gaining momentum. The first is that companies are releasing formerly proprietary code under an open source license. The second is that open source companies are being acquired or are issuing public offerings. The third trend is that very large number of citizens increasingly uses the Internet to oppose politicians and law makers who threaten, sometimes unwittingly, the fundamental principles of open source development.
These three trends tie into this month's editorial theme: Clean intellectual property or clean IP. In a nutshell, clean IP is about reducing license incompatibilities and non-compliance with licensing terms. Clean IP significantly affects the value of the code released as open source and the value of a company that develops and markets software.