Despite the fact that open source or so-called “free” software has been available for more than 30 years, and is likely used in the vast majority of software programs being developed today, many people remain confused as to what it is, how licensing it works, and how is it different from software in the public domain. There are a number of different license types, the most common of which is permissive, and as it sounds, it is relatively easy to work with once the notification requirements are understood and properly applied. Other license types include the colorfully named copyleft license that comes with a host of requirements and restrictions that most commercial software vendors will want to avoid. Once you have a better understanding of open source and the issues and opportunities it presents, it’s a good time to figure out what you are already using through an audit and performing any clean up that may be required.

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