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

Nov 10, 2004, 03:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bernard Golden)

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"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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