JBoss Offers Increased Customer Protection - InformationWeek

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4/5/2005
02:32 PM
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JBoss Offers Increased Customer Protection

In an atmosphere of intellectual-property worries, the open-source vendor wants to give customers peace of mind.

JBoss Inc. is expanding the indemnification terms that protect customers of its open-source application server from intellectual-property disputes.

The company disclosed Tuesday that it will provide "unlimited coverage" for legal defense and software repair or replacement for the products it licenses. In addition, JBoss will pay damage awards of up to four times the value of a business customer's support contract.

The vendor, which bills itself as "the professional open-source company," has offered a more limited form of indemnification since 2003. Under its old policy, JBoss offered to pay damages that were equal to a customer's support contract.

"Increasingly, our customers are enterprise customers, deploying the JBoss suite in production environments," VP of services Brad Murdoch says. "Consequently, they're seeking the type of coverage they would get from other commercial enterprise software companies."

The indemnification guarantees apply to existing and new customers that receive the company's gold- and platinum-level support. The same terms extend to JBoss' authorized service partners. The company says certain limitations apply, though it didn't provide details.

The expanded indemnification policy comes in an atmosphere of nervousness over intellectual-property issues related to software use. In just one example, SCO Group has been involved in lawsuits with AutoZone, DaimlerChrysler, IBM, Novell, and Red Hat over claims involving Unix source code. Says Murdoch, "There has been a lot of interest" in indemnification coverage.

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