4 Pitfalls to Consider When You Deal With Open Source Softwareby QArea Expert on January 8, 2013
Open source software (OSS) is any software with licensed source code that makes it available and free for everyone. The vast array of CMSs, cloud computing software and more are under the license. Users can change the code or mode of its operation. Anyway, some issues they can face with are listed below.
The terms of the license allow users make any modifications with the code, as well as copying or distributing. But! There is one restriction is that you can’t put any restrictions to those who are going to use your copies, modifications, etc. Such aspect can create lots of trouble for developers if they have the own terms and conditions.
One more important thing that is overlooked very often is that when you deal with OSS products the warranties for its quality and functionality are usually limited. And you need big efforts to protect yourself in case the use of OSS code in your development lead to violation the property rights of any third party.
Risk for IT Vendors
IT companies and those who deal with OSS in their main business need to be careful when using such products. You should care about how licensing terms could affect your business. At least, you need to operate with the statement that “the OSS is used and its components are subject to the licensing terms of the applicable OSS” when signing up agreements with your clients.
There are different forms of license as well as the terms of usage for various open source software. For example, one of the OSS licenses doesn’t allow any royalties on copies of the open source software. Most of licenses oblige users in any event disclose their source code during the period of using OSS.
Of course, there are many drawbacks of using open source software. Depending on the nature of your interests regarding open source software you do or you don’t need to take into account listed above factors. If you are in development, you should focus more on how to protect your product. If you are individual or aim to use software not in the main part of your business, you don’t need to worry a lot about use of OSS, as most of them are great and widely used products!