SearchEnterpriseLinux: Expert: Be Smart About Mitigating Open-Source IP Risks
Mar 20, 2004, 02:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jan Stafford)
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[ Thanks to Michael
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"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
"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..."