Top 10 signs your company doesn't "get" open source

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open source lightning talks

Guy Martin, Managing Principal Architect at Red Hat, gives us the big reasons why companies shy away from using open source —and other misconceptions, like not being able to mix and match open and closed source applications and thinking open source is only about risk management.

He advises those who want to see open source concepts and technologies implemented in their company to seek out and team up with like-minded coworkers.

Martin's takeaway image is Bart Simpson writing at the chalkboard: Open source is good for me, I'm going to embrace it. 

Guy Martin is the Executive Director of OASIS Open, an internationally recognized standards development and open source projects consortium. He is responsible for the organization’s overall operation, in addition to helping define its cohesive strategies and policies to deliver the best value to its members.


Many organisations (around 80%) are deploying FOSS with their proprietary model knowingly or unknowingly. The important thing is to comply with the Open Source licenses, however, there are dearth of OSS experts who can guide or manage IP risks associated with Open Source. This is the main reason companies are avoiding Open Source or afraid of using it.

Great points Aahit.

I agree that it's important to comply with OSS licenses, especially when used in products that are later resold. However, my point in putting together that top 10 list is that there's a *lot* more to effectively utilizing open source than just license and IP compliance.

I think there's a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) that gets propagated by various parties out there (I'm looking at you Microsoft), but there are tools/processes to help manage the compliance side of things.

I also agree with you that there are a dearth of experts who can not only shepherd companies through the compliance issues, but, more importantly, who can be leaders and champions for all of the other benefits that open source brings: access to faster community-led innovation, reduction in vendor lockin, quality peer-reviewed software, etc.

While there will most definitely be a continued need for good open source-savvy legal resources such as yourself, I think it's even more important to grow the ranks of general OSS champions and leaders within all organizations if we hope to continue the push toward more effective open source utilization.

Thank you Mr. Martin.

You gave a good interpretation like FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). Organizations of developing countries are still not much aware of OSS compliance issues or I can say OSS compliance is at very nascent stage especially in INDIA or other developing countries. Gradually, it is improving. There must be some awareness sessions for organizations or Govt. agencies put forth some rules for compliance.

Because, if someone uses an OSS which is under GPL license and statically link with its proprietary, in this case GPL requires its proprietary has to be under GPL terms and complete source code would be put on view - Its ok until this is hidden, but tomorrow or day after tomorrow or sometime later this thing will be caught; and this would affect whole supply chain.

It’s like the morning is when you wake up :)

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