Legal issues of open source and the cloud

Open source software is being used more and more in business IT. However open source software can create legal problems when migrating your business IT system to the cloud.

Open source solutions are increasingly used by companies in their business IT systems especially when migrating to the cloud. As we all know the advantages of open source are enormous. Open source gives companies options and possibilities that are restricted with regular software.

Open source solutions and software also prevents that your business IT is restricted to the supplier solutions as open source software is evaluating continuously. Open source solutions provide easy integration of new solutions which will enable IT engineers to improve the legal infrastructure more efficiently.

Correct use of open source software will also lead to cost reduction if a business chooses the right tools and open source is being implemented efficiently.

The pitfalls of open source

Open source software is free to use software however not always without purchase fee and legal obligations. Open source software like proprietary software is protected by copyright and sometimes even patents. This means a business using the open source software still has to comply with the legal licenses to use the software. It is very important that an organisation understands the legal consequences of software copyright and patent.

IT engineers know how to develop the code of the software however they probably will not know what the legal implications of using open source software are. This makes it crucial that a business understands the legal obligations and ensures that there is a strategy in place to make sure that all legal requirements are met.

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Dangers of Open Source and the Cloud

Managing risks of open source

Now that larger companies and developers are increasingly using open source the number of allegations about infringements of patent rights is increasing. Two examples are the Citrix and Sound View Innovations cases. Because the code is public it is easy for a patent owner to determine whether the code infringes their patent. If a patent owner thinks he knows that an open source solutions component violates the patent the owner can then easily find out whether the invention is being used by a company.

Although many companies think of patents as a potential legal risk when implementing new technology they often forget copyright. That is probably one of the reasons why there is an increase in the number of legal cases started. As long as a company meets all conditions of the license there is nothing to worry about. But if for some reason they do not comply with all license terms the license can be withdrawn and they therefore violate the copyright.

Safely migrating to the cloud

At Tech-Wales we are experts in migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud. We will make sure all legal obligations are complied with for a no hassle and worry free migration. Our experienced and qualified experts provide a customer friendly service and will ensure a smooth and legal transition to the cloud. Do not hesitate to contact us to start migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud.