Sony released the Open Shading Language in 2010 as "a small but rich language for programmable shading in advanced renderers and other applications." This simply wasn't a code drop of some no longer useful code to try to spark them some positive publicity, but OSL has kept advancing as an open-source shading language.
Sony Pictures Imageworks describes the Open Shading Language as being ideal for describing materials, lights, displacement, and pattern generation. OSL is used by Sony's in-house renderer that's used for animating feature films and producing visual effects. The language itself was developed not exclusively by Sony but in conjunction with other animation/visual studios.
The Open Shading Language is BSD-licensed with a C-like syntax that is modestly similar to other shading languages while tightly integrating key concepts like deferred ray-tracing, radiance closures, and BSDFs. The Open Shading Language implementation also relies upon the LLVM compiler infrastructure for translating shader networks into machine code as its JIT implementation.
Open Shading Language continues to be developed and the open-source code can be found on GitHub
. This ended up being a drop of useful code by Sony. In fact, they are making much progress since opening up the code and language. Their first 100% all-OSL movie was Men In Black 3, which was released in North Americal ast month. Another Open Shanding Language movie soon reaching the theaters is The Amazing Spider-Man. Other upcoming titles using OSL include Hotel Transylvania and Oz the Great and Powerful.