Best Practices in Managing Open Source Intellectual Property in the Enterprise
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Best Practices in Managing Open Source Intellectual Property in the Enterprise

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It seems that every day brings new debates about commercial software vs. open source software. Many people agree that open source options are gaining significant traction in enterprise development, ...

It seems that every day brings new debates about commercial software vs. open source software. Many people agree that open source options are gaining significant traction in enterprise development, but just what are you getting with that free product? Commercial open source vendors are able to provide much more than just the applications, including enterprise services, technical support, accelerated development, and indemnification/defense of IP claims.

Join Robert Blasi, a patent attorney with Goodwin Procter and Bart Copeland, President and CEO of ActiveState, the Dynamic Language Experts for a discussion of current open source developments and the future of commercial products.

In this informative webinar, you’ll be able to:
* Discover whether open source is truly free
* Learn best practices for using open source software without the risk
* Gain insight on trends and drivers for open source in the enterprise
* Understand why commercial open source solutions can save dollars and time

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Best Practices in Managing Open Source Intellectual Property in the Enterprise Best Practices in Managing Open Source Intellectual Property in the Enterprise Presentation Transcript

  • Best Practices in Managing Open Source in the Enterprise Robert Blasi Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP ©2010. Goodwin Procter LLP
  • Agenda
    • Trends and drivers for open source in the enterprise
    • Is open source free?
    • Using open source without risk
    • Advantages to working with commercial OSS vendors
    • Conclusion
  • Trends and drivers for open source in the enterprise
    • Cuts in IT spending have made open source usage a priority item
    • More open source usage under viral licenses
    • Commercial vendors are filling the gaps left by the community
    • Primarily development tools, infrastructure
    View slide
  • Is open source free?
    • OSI recognizes 50+ open source licenses
    • Common OSS license features
      • License to copyright, patents (not trademarks)
      • Disclaimer of warranties, limited liability
      • Attribution obligations
      • Covenants that “run with the code”
    • Net effect is transfer of valuable IP that changes business risk profile.
    View slide
  • Is open source free? (cont’d)
    • Less risk of…
      • Interoperability problems
      • Overt defects
      • Missing development milestones
      • Falling behind competitors
    • More risk of…
      • Subtle defects
      • Liability for IP infringement
      • Inadvertent “open sourcing” of proprietary IP
      • Direct/indirect breach of open source license
  •  
  • Using open source without risk
    • Three overlapping pieces
      • Understand the current situation
      • Correct as necessary
      • Put processes in place going forward
  • Using open source without risk (cont’d)
    • Understand the current situation
      • Consider full audit (Black Duck, etc.)
      • Developers, architects, legal must communicate.
      • Need to understand what you use, and what you distribute.
        • Employees, independent contractors, web presence, etc.
  • Using open source without risk (cont’d)
    • Correct as necessary
      • Eliminate unused items from tree
      • Redesign software to address forced sharing
      • Revise documentation to include notices
      • Make source code available to downstreamers
      • Pay special attention to high profile items
  • Using open source without risk (cont’d)
    • Going forward
      • Establish written process
      • Tailor process to match your organization
      • Developer + architect + legal
      • “As simple as possible, but not simpler.”
    • Example process
      • Developer identifies software for use
      • Architect thinks the request is a good idea
      • Legal reviews open source license
  • Using open source without risk (cont’d)
    • Refinements
      • Pre-approved sources
      • Pre-approved licenses
      • Outside counsel
      • Tools to manage open source usage
      • Follow-up on usage
      • Developer education
      • Key players
      • Follow-up on license compliance
  •  
  • Advantages to working with commercial OSS vendors
    • Open source changes risk profile
    • Who does it better – community or business?
      • Innovation
      • Technical support
      • Indemnification
      • Certifying third-party hardware and software, services vendors
    • Do it yourself or outsource?
  • Working with commercial OSS vendors (cont’d)
    • Certifications
      • Components interoperate properly
      • People you’re working with are trained to work with the software
      • Certified versions of software
    • Support
      • Your people are the front line
      • The community may be able to help you
      • Commercial vendor is paid to support you
  • Conclusion
    • Adoption rate of open source is increasing
      • No exception for risky licenses
    • Open source changes risk profile
    • Understand and correct the current situation
    • Put processes in place going forward
    • Third party vendors can help you with risk profile
  •  
  • Thank You! Robert Blasi [email_address] .com www. goodwinprocter .com