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Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

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Clearance of Open Source Software

The following rules should be taken into consideration if open source software is encountered:

  • Determine early and often whether open source code has been downloaded for use in or with the product. Continuously during the product development cycle, determine from the product coders whether any open source code has been downloaded for use in the product. This is especially important if the coding has been outsourced to a coding firm or by joint development with another company.
  • Contact your legal team in advance for clearance of any proposed open source code use.
  • Cooperate with your legal team to analyze the product with respect to the open source code license to determine whether it requires the product’s source code to be made available to the world without cost.
  • If the product source code is required to be made available because of open source code use, consult with to determine whether the open source code can be implemented for the product in a way that avoids this requirement.
  • Even if the open source code does not require any onerous conditions, consult with your legal team to determine whether the innocuous conditions imposed by the proposed open source code license have been met.