Open Source License Due Diligence

What is Open Source License Due Diligence?

Often, commercial software contains open source components. In the due diligence for acquiring a commercial software company, You have to check if the company complies with the licenses for open source software contained in their products. The following figure shows typical components of commercial software.

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Utilzation of open source software

Now we look at the utilization of open source software. In the following figure the software vendor distributes the software products to resellers and to direct customers. The key fact that triggers open source license compliance is often distribution.

WIth the distribution, the open source license terms apply and have to be complied with. Often open source license terms require that the source code is revealed and/or the software has to be provided free of charge.

Summary

Software vendorsĀ“ core business is monetization of usage rights granted to customers. Open source software and corresponding licenses have to be diligently analyzed

You have to ensure that

  • all current and planned utilizations of open source software are covered and that

  • no open source license terms are violated.

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Open source best practices

Licensing is just one dimension of open source best practices in the software industry. If you would like to learn more, visit open source best practices.

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(C) Dr. Karl Popp 2015

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