8/11/14

'Free' Software Can End Up Costly

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Heather Lutz, an associate in the Vorys Cleveland office and a member of the litigation group, authored an article for Crain’s Cleveland Business titled “'Free' Software Can End Up Costly.”   In the article, Lutz describes the common types of the licenses that protect open source software code.  She says that developers must read the license and understand its implications before incorporating any open source code, particularly into proprietary software.

The article states:

“Developers often look for ways to collaborate. For this, among other, reasons, the open source model was created, but open source code likely is protected by a license.

For all its benefits, open source doesn’t necessarily mean free, and it doesn’t mean you can use it without consequences.

Failure to appreciate the differences among the licenses could cost your business everything. Sometimes, such as when code is part of a business’s proprietary software, the type of license that governs open source code is crucial.”

To read the entire article, visit the Crain’s Cleveland Business website. (Subscription may be required).