Open source software is being used more broadly in all areas of software development. However, free/open source software is not public domain – it is copyrighted material used under license. Popular “copyleft” licenses such as GPL, LGPL, and EPL have stringent requirements for distribution of copyrighted software. Even “permissive” licenses such as BSD and MIT have requirements to include disclaimers of warranty. To be fully compliant with free/open source licenses, you must first be fully aware of exactly what you are getting from suppliers (and their suppliers and subcontractors). In the same vein, you must communicate to your users exactly which licenses apply to all software they receive from you.
Failure to comply with licenses can be ugly, in the worst cases leading to legal actions and bad blood with the developer community. This paper addresses best known methods for supply chain license compliance management. Attendees are encouraged to share their knowledge and experience.
Andrew Wilson is chief open source compliance officer for Intel. He has worked in the computer industry since 1974.
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