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March 10, 2004

Myths of open source

Busting the myths of open source (from CIO magazine)

A variety of open-source licenses exist, and helping CIOs understand their implications is good business for lawyers—very good business. "[CIOs'] concerns chiefly revolve around the implications of using code to which they can't verify their right to use," says Jeff Norman, a partner in the intellectual property practice of law firm Kirkland & Ellis. "Just because you've got a piece of paper saying that you own the Brooklyn Bridge, it doesn't mean that you actually own it."

For some users, third-party indemnification is an option. On Nov. 17, 2003, for example, JBoss Group announced it will indemnify and defend JBoss customers from legal action alleging JBoss copyright or patent infringement. Other vendors of open-source software—including HP, Red Hat and Novell—also offer indemnifications of varying types.

And while conceding that the situation isn't perfect, Sabre's Murphy says that he's heard all the legal arguments he needs. "It's a concern, sure, but we've basically got to do this. There may be friction and challenges—but I don't see any showstoppers." (See "Open Source Under Attack," this page.) "

New software category - Software Indemnification Management System , any takers ?

March 10, 2004 in Economics of IT | Permalink


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