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The Pitfalls of Open Source Litigation

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Optimists say the best things in life are free; realists say yes, but anything that's free costs way too much. Nowhere is that more applicable than in open source software.

Enterprises using open source are being sued for not complying with the multitude of licenses the software comes with.

The problem is that open source software developers call in code from other open source applications. "If you're using only a few open software packages, you're actually using a whole lot more applications because open software builds on things other people have done," Stormy Peters, executive director of the Gnome Foundation, a nonprofit organization that coordinates the efforts of the Gnome Project, told a presentation today on avoiding open source lawsuits. The Gnome Project is a worldwide project to create a free computing platform for public use.

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Relax, Open-Source Lawyers Aren't About to Sue You

In an article headlined "The Pitfalls of Open Source Litigation", published today at, Richard Adhikari claims that "enterprises using open source are being sued for not complying with the multitude of licenses the software comes with," He suggests that businesses should think twice before using open-source software, lest they find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit themselves. Fortunately for the open-source community, his claims don't hold much water.

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