The Risks and Potential Impacts Associated with Open Source


Open source software (OSS) is built by communities of developers who contribute their knowledge and time to OSS projects they find appealing. That code can then be used by individuals, communities and organizations in their software products—the only obligation they have is to play under the rules of the license with which the OSS project was published.

This type of knowledge sharing brings many benefits to OSS users as it speeds up software development time and can help companies become more competitive in the market. Unfortunately, there is also a catch. Those benefits also come with certain risks which every OSS user needs to be aware of and take necessary actions to mitigate.

The OSS License: One specific risk to consider involves the OSS license. Not knowing what your obligations are under the license (or not abiding by those obligations) can cause an OSS user to, for example, lose intellectual property or experience a monetary loss.