Open Source Legal Debt

Open source legal debt is unwanted open-source code in your products and projects.

Code may be unwanted, if it does not fit your (a company’s) business model. An example is code that has been copied from StackOverflow into your code base. That’s because code from StackOverflow has a copyleft license, which means that as you distribute your software, you can only use the license StackOverflow uses, not your own. According to this license, those who receive your software are free to pass it on, for free, and you can’t do anything about it.

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Two Issue Break of IEEE Computer Column Open Source Expanded

Thanks to this editor’s inability to wield their whip effectively, the IEEE Computer magazine’s column Open Source Expanded is taking a two issue break: There wasn’t an August 2022 article and there won’t be an October 2022 article in IEEE Computer magazine. We will resume our regular bi-monthly schedule in December 2022. Until then you may enjoy rereading some of the old articles. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

The Four Opens: Open Source Beyond the Code (Ildikó Vancsa, IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 21th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleThe Four Opens: Open Source Beyond the Code
Keywords
AuthorsIldikó Vancsa, Open Infrastructure Foundation
PublicationComputer vol. 55, no. 6 (June 2022), pp. 81-84

Abstract: This article describes a set of guiding principles that open infrastructure communities, such as OpenStack, use to create and maintain balanced ecosystems around projects and navigate the challenges and intricacies of open collaboration.

As always, the article is freely available (local copy).

Also, check out the full list of articles.

Call for Article Proposals for Open Source Expanded Column in IEEE Computer Magazine

Readers of this blog may have noticed that I manage a regular (bi-monthly) column on open source for the IEEE Computer magazine (about 60K print subscribers and many more online readers). Article topics are broadly about open source. I’m calling for proposals for new articles in the series. You can read past Open Source Expanded articles on this blog and on the Computer magazine site (all articles are freely accessible).

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Software Development Metrics With a Purpose (Gonzalez-Barahona et al., IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 20th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleSoftware Development Metrics With a Purpose
Keywords
AuthorsJesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona, Daniel Izquierdo-Cortázar, Gregorio Robles
PublicationComputer vol. 55, no. 4 (April 2022), pp. 66-73

Abstract: A new generation of toolsets that are flexible enough to adapt to the data analytics needs of a given scenario is emerging to analyze free, open source software (FOSS). GrimoireLab is one such toolset that meets many of the needs of foundations, developers, and companies.

As always, the article is freely available (local copy).

Also, check out the full list of articles.

Commercial Participation in OpenStack (Zhang et al., IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 19th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleCommercial Participation in OpenStack
KeywordsOpenStack, Open Source Software
AuthorsYuxia Zhang, Hao He, Minghui Zhou
PublicationComputer vol. 55, no. 2 (February 2022), pp. 78-84

Abstract: This article provides a overview of commercial participation in OpenStack, a large-scale open source software (OSS) ecosystem. We discuss how to achieve a balance between maximizing business profit and ensuring the long-term sustainability of OSS ecosystems.

As always, the article is freely available (local copy).

Also, check out the full list of articles.

The Success of log4j

log4j (2) demonstrates the tremendous success of the open source development model (and not the opposite, as some might believe because of the recent vulnerability).

A huge number of companies use log4j in their products. What else spells success better?

However, what those companies failed to do is to properly manage their risk, here the dependency on open source. That’s on the companies, and not on the open source model, which works just fine, thank you.

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The Open Source Distributor Business Model [Computer Magazine]

I’m happy to report that the 18th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleThe Open Source Distributor Business Model
KeywordsOpen source distributor, open source distribution, open source business model, open source sustainability
AuthorsDirk Riehle
PublicationComputer vol. 54, no. 12 (December 2021), pp. 99-103

Abstract: This article defines and discusses one particular commercial open source business model, called the (open source) distributor model. It can attract significant venture capital, thereby contributing to the long-term sustainability of open source.

As always, the article is freely available (local copy, as PDF).

Also, check out the full list of articles.

Open Source Hardware (Hannig & Teich, IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 17th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleOpen Source Hardware
KeywordsOpen Source Hardware, Integrated Circuits, Ecosystems, Hardware, Open Source Software
AuthorsFrank Hannig, Jürgen Teich
PublicationComputer vol. 54, no. 10 (October 2021), pp. 111-115

Abstract: Hardware that can be manufactured from free and open source descriptions has gained a lot of momentum. This article gives a general introduction, focusing on electronics and integrated circuits, corresponding open ecosystems and organizations, and highlights benefits and challenges.

As always, the article is freely available (local copy).

Also, check out the full list of articles.