Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Open Source Continues to Come of Age

cNet notes that "OpenLogic, a provider of open-source software for enterprises, is offering indemnification against legal action for companies using its code." The company does note that its indemnity no longer applies if the indemnitee has modified the code in the OpenLogic code. And, the operating system used (e.g., Linux) is not covered by the OpenLogic indemnity (although there may be policies available from insurers, such as Lloyds, to cover that). So, the end user still has some degree of patching together risk-allocation tools in order to create a reasonably protected system.

Still, the days when lawyers in the know should just instantly panic when they hear about OS in their clients' houses should be deemed as officially over. Our own committee's members recently presented a very well-received program on how to assess open source as a risk during a corporate merger transaction -- materials available here (ABA Business Law Section members only).

Like everything else we do, there is still plenty of work to do to make sure the hatches are battened down. However, the coming of age of the OS industry means that the lawyers can start to add value by pointing out the risk management tools their clients can use, and help them to negotiate or assess actual risk versus falling into abject panic.

1 comment:

helene said...

Open Source Continues to Come of Age: there is a new kid on the block

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