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SearchEnterpriseLinux: Expert: Be Smart About Mitigating Open-Source IP Risks

Mar 20, 2004, 02:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jan Stafford)

[ Thanks to Michael S. Mimoso for this link. ]

"Before and after founding Black Duck Software, you talked to many companies that have had problems with licensing and copyright infringement issues. Is there a recurring theme in these conversations?

"Doug Levin: Most of the horror stories that I have heard about are connected to 11th-hour or 59th-minute type of decisions about using open source software. I have just lost track of the number of companies where a product manager and or development team will come to the general counsel at the 59th minute and sometimes at the 59th second and say: 'OK, we have completed the coding. Everything is all right, and we want to ship the product.'

"Then the company's attorney asks: 'Are you using any open source software, and -- if you are -- is it properly licensed? Have you properly attributed it, and have you paid any related fees?' Too often, the answer to the attorney's questions is: 'Yes, we used it. No, it's not licensed.' So, the general counsel feels this great pressure to permit the release of the software, even though it is not properly documented..."

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