IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Dec 10 2010   10:23PM GMT

Open Source Hardware and Software Licensing – Part VII

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

In many situations, open source licensing is an essential element enabling open source programs to qualify as open source software. However, there are numerous variations in the terms and conditions associated with an open software licensing agreement. To reduce misunderstandings that can lead to legal adjudication, current OSI license agreements are classified as: Academic, Reciprocal, Content, and Standards. Within this context, the key difference between the various types of open source licenses are what mechanism, if any, will be utilized to enforce open source software contractual terms and conditions. For instance, an OSI license can permit affirmative agreement to contractual terms and conditions by ‘clicking’ a designated web page text-box prior to accessing the open source software; therefore, providing prima facie evidence regarding acceptable software development practices of the licensee.

View Part I of the Open Source Hardware and Software Licensing series here

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