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Free software developers now have a "legal guardian" they can turn to for advice and guidance on GPL copyright law and patent infringements.

As the SCO case rumbles on, Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) hopes the launch of the Freedom Task Force (FTF) will help to safeguard free software projects.

FTF co-ordinator Shane Coughlan told us the foundation plans to play a crucial role in what he described as "a complex European arena regarding tackling the different versions and dark secrets of copyright laws and regulation".

He also accepted that it would involve a "long-term venture to build a free software ecosystem infrastructure".

The not-for-profit organisation Stichting NLnet, which opposes software patents, provided a grant of €30,000 to FSFE to help launch the task force, which will work closely with GPL-violations.org.

Explaining the main purpose of FTF, Coughlan said: "We're going to be providing answers to all different parties and in that way act as a mediator of free software issues."

In an official statement about the launch, FSFE said it "seeks to help programmers properly set up and organise projects legally, as well as educate companies to understand how the GPL works".

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