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IT Strategy and Innovation: CIO in Action — Understanding Open Source Software Licensing

IT Strategy and Innovation: CIO in Action — Understanding Open Source Software Licensing

This IDC study focuses on open source software (OSS) licensing for CIOs and other IT decision makers. The open source software licensing landscape is a rather complex and evolving area. This document is intended to provide CIOs and other IT decision makers a simplified overview, a way to identify their individual situations, and guidance on how to approach licensing. It addresses questions like:

  • Do I need to worry about licensing?
  • What do I need to know about licensing?
  • What types of licenses are there?
  • How do I select which license to apply?
  • What should I do?

"Open source software licensing is complex and fraught with risks if not understood and managed adequately," says Sanjay Gupta, adjunct research analyst with IDC's Research Network. "CIOs of organizations distributing products/services that utilize open source software and not actively managing their open source software licenses are likely to find themselves in a tight spot."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.


IDC Opinion
In This Study
IT Executive Program Research Agenda
Situation Overview
GNU General Public License
MIT License, Apache License, and BSD License
GNU Lesser General Public License
Key Challenges
License Management
Compatibility
Contamination
Future Outlook
Essential Guidance
Overall Guidance
Guidance for Three Major Use Cases
Learn More
Related Research
Synopsis
Figure: IT Executive Program Research Agenda Themes
Figure: Spectrum of Open Source Software Licenses

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