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An open source software license compliance start-up is to participate in a US Navy project on expanded use of open source software.

Black Duck Software has joined the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI) to advise on a three-year R&D program exploring the use of open source in the Naval Oceanographic Office's web services, enterprise architecture and scientific computing systems.

OSSI is a non-profit group that lobbies federal and state government on use of open source software.

Formed in 2002, Black Duck provides software and services to identify and manage software licenses. The company says its protexIP product helps companies realize the benefits of open source, by analyzing projects and uncovering hidden software licenses.

Last week Palmida Software, a rival, held its official launch. Palmida provides product and services to also help companies uncover and identify the licenses of the open source software they use in projects in order to avoid potential IP entanglements.

Black Duck will participate in the second joint project between the OSSI and the Navy. An initial project ran between October 2001 and 2004 to help the Navy identify and document use of open source software in its enterprise systems.

Black Duck, meanwhile, joined the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) in January, to contribute on legal issues involving software licensing and IP. ®

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