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ZDNet: Assessing the Risks of Open Source

Sep 21, 2002, 02:30 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas Murphy)

"As organizations seek to control software license costs and press forward with Java initiatives, open source is an appealing alternative.

"However, IT leaders are increasingly concerned with liability and security surrounding the use of open source. IT organizations must develop policies and procedures to aid in assessing the risk associated with all code utilized in the organization...

"Several risks are associated with using application software developed by others, such as copyrights and patents, liability, security, and quality. Commercial software brings a certain sense of safety by assigning specific rights, defining legal limits, and providing a named commercial entity that theoretically stands behind the code. When it comes to open source, the picture becomes murky. IT organizations (ITOs) must define rules of use based on where software is obtained and utilize software tools to evaluate third-party software.

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