IT Manager’s Journal: How to Use Open Source to Your Best Corporate Advantage

“As open source products first came onto the scene, commercial
software companies viewed them with suspicion. Beyond the obvious
threat of shrinking revenues, there was the undefined yet
frightening-sounding threat of ‘viral licensing’–the ominous,
malevolent force that can infect commercial products and transform
them into open source. The menace of viral licensing is enough to
reduce a brave, aggressive, earnings guidance-busting CEO to a
quivering, impoverished, unrecognizable wreck. (Viral licensing
refers to the unfortunate situation in which a proprietary product
mutates into an open source product due to inadvertently including
some GPL-based code in its source base.)

“Recently, however, commercial software companies have taken a
second look at the open source world to understand a more positive
kind of viral infection: the quick building of a user base made
possible by free product downloads…”

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