We have heard it before: Open source is eating the software world, you can’t build a product or a service without open source software, and open source is the new normal. All three are fair and true statements that reflect two important trends:
- We have come to rely on open source software when creating new products and services in our everyday life, and
- The open source development methodology when creating non-differentiating, shared, software has become institutionalized.
Enterprises are currently harvesting and leveraging billions of dollars by adopting open source software usage. In many cases they are also supporting the expansion of the ecosystem by contributing software to existing projects (or, for that matter, creating new projects). But with the benefits and ease of open source usage comes one great responsibility – ensuring compliance with the applicable open source licenses.
How to Ensure Compliance with Open Source Licenses?
How do you do that? How can enterprises that incorporate open source software packages in their products and services comply with all of the licenses governing the use of said software?
Using one or several tools will of course help, but that is only half the truth. Then there is the usual corporate hurdles of adapting your compliance efforts to appropriate policies, processes, guidelines, training, etc to a level where it is possible to:
- Track all usage of open source software,
- Identify which open source software that is included in the product or service code base,
- Understand how open source software interacts with other software,
- Compile the list of open source license obligations that need to be met, and
- Fulfill the open source license obligations when the product or service ships.
A Wealth of Open Source Software Experience at FOSSID Worth Sharing
At FOSSID, we have vast experience in open source development practices and license compliance, and a great understanding of the enterprise needs and requirements.
We have learned to understand the sensitivity with which open source licenses are to be treated, and the complexity involved with license compliance in the modern world, where software developers are as likely to use existing open source software as they are to implement their own.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Open Source Software Compliance
Starting today we will share our knowledge in a blog series called “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Open Source Software Compliance”. We will dissect various aspects of open source compliance, examine best practices and discuss how enterprises can make open source compliance a very undramatic and transparent practice.
Until next time, happy innovation and “don’t panic!”.