Open Source Software: Compliance Basics And Best Practices

this is something that has bugged me as well in regards to Open Source Software


HeatherMeekerEditor’s note: Heather Meeker is a shareholder and chair of the IP/IT Licensing and Transactions Group in the international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, and a leading authority on open-source software licensing.  

Startups stand on the shoulders of giants, developing proprietary applications on top of a software landscape that heavily leverages open source components. But as the saying goes, free software is not free, and using open source software requires that organizations understand the legal framework of open source.

Failure to follow the licensing conditions for open source software can result in lawsuits, bad public relations, and more. To reduce risk, companies large and small need to have a basic understanding of open source license conditions and have in place an actionable list of best practices that includes seeking legal guidance when necessary.

Open source software users must follow the licensing conditions for each package they are using…

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