How to use open source with confidence

I just found this article on the Computer Weekly website, written by James Duffett-Smith, an IT specialist at international law firm Pinsent Masons, aka Out-Law.com

I mention it because it expands on the issue of IPR indemnity for open source software that I had mentioned in my notes of the Out-Law seminar I went to on 20 April.

His conclusion is that although there are new risks for an organisation taking on OSS software,

…risks are manageable once they are properly understood. From a legal perspective, the first factor to consider will always be the particular open source licence that governs the proposed code to be used. In what can be a very complex area, specialist legal advice can enable your business to profit from using open source software.

OK,he’s spinning a line, but he might have a point. Particularly if the organisation using the OSS application has deep pockets. A government perhaps…

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About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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