May 31, 2012
Many companies today are using open source software to reduce costs and accelerate time to market. When using open source software, it is important to ensure that you are complying with all of the relevant open source licenses in order to avoid legal issues.
There are many factors that catalyses this motivation of using the open source in commercial software, like the versatile functionality that has evolved with time and hereditary improvements by contribution of open source community.
Also there may chances in development stage of commercial software that once can voluntarily or unknowingly make use of open source code that eventually associate some license or compliance obligations with the developed software. Software might as well work alright but becomes prone to legal issues when detected in future.
So there is an inevitable need that comes while using open source in commercial software – a responsibility to manage and control open source usage, its license obligations and compliances.
Let us see what threats open source usage in commercial software can pose:
– The company that buys the OSS from the vendor must confirm on warranty and liability about the software. So the user company shouldn’t fall into litigations due to audits and post-detection of non-compliance with license terms.
– In Merger and acquisitions companies might unknowingly heredities the threats of the open source non-compliant software.
– It is also injustice when the diligence of open source community is exploited by greedy coders, and they enjoy the readymade snippets without contributing back to the community.
– To get through the Audit services it becomes quite complex understand the software structure and components used in it and if the same do not have any complications about licensing in an indirect way. As a result company had to spend its resources and so the money to aboard an open-source expert that assure everything is in place before the audit services.
So that arose a question if there any way to minimized these threats and an easy method to comply with the open source usage obligations, yes there is one with OLEX.
OLEX is a browser-based scanning tool that helps you identify the license the license obligations that come with open source software, streamline the compliance process and reduce legal risks. OLEX can help companies that distribute products that may contain open source software as well as companies that use open source software.
It can be easily actuated by providing the location of your software’s source code repository. OLEX’s OSS deep Discovery can find entire open source files as well as code snippets that have been copied, even when the copied code has been modified.