How to use open source to your best corporate advantage


Author: Bernard Golden

As open source products first came onto the scene, commercial software companies viewed them with suspicion. Beyond the obvious threat of shrinking revenues, there was the undefined yet frightening-sounding threat of “viral licensing” — the ominous, malevolent force that can infect commercial products and transform them into open source. The menace of viral licensing is enough to reduce a brave, aggressive, earnings guidance-busting CEO to a quivering, impoverished, unrecognizable wreck. (Viral licensing refers to the unfortunate situation in which a proprietary product mutates into an open source product due to inadvertently including some GPL-based code in its source base.)