Open source software can be a double-edged sword for startups. It can be a startup’s lifeblood, because it helps you innovate rapidly without starting from scratch. But, as they say, open source software is free like a puppy is free: The true cost of open source software is obeying open source licenses.
Misuse of open source software can delay or derail investment and corporate exit opportunities. But you can easily comply with open source licenses if you follow these simple rules.
- Don’t use software without license terms. Some software on the internet doesn’t contain licensing notices, but that doesn’t mean that it can be used freely. The people posting the software may not have complied with upstream licensing terms. Or the author of the software may not yet have applied a license to the software—open source or otherwise. “No license terms” means no license: You should either avoid using the software or ask the author to apply a permissive license.
Read more at OpenSource.com