The FOSSology project started out as an internal development effort at Hewlett Packard Company (HP). As part of HP’s own internal IT governance process, we needed a tool that would quickly and accurately describe how a given open source project was licensed. Rather than simply collecting a project’s advertised license (as given at their website or in their documentation), this tool needed to analyze all of the source code for a given project and intelligently report all of the licenses being used, based on the license declarations and tell-tale phrases that identify software licensing.

Thus was born FOSSology – “The study of FOSS.” [1] As development progressed, we quickly realized that the analysis of open source licensing was only one application of what was quickly becoming a valuable general-purpose software data mining framework.

HP understands the broad value of these tools for helping IT organizations to confidently adopt open source software, as well as to uncover what open source software is being used within their environments. Furthermore, we believe this tool will be helpful for open source developers and distributors to build a thorough licensing picture of the projects and packages they produce. Thus it is being provided to the broader FOSS community with the intent of building a vibrant, open community of users and contributors who will help make the framework and the agents as valuable as possible [2].


Description from FOSSology about_us at