With the growing use of open-source software, businesses may find themselves using someone else's intellectual property without knowing it.
While it's never been a smart business move to use someone else's intellectual property without paying for it, the risk of doing this without realizing it has never been greater. Open-source software, led by programs such as the Linux operating system and the Apache Web server, has grown in popularity during the past several years from small departmental implementations to become more deeply entrenched in business IT environments.
Although the uses and legalities of open-source software are fairly new to most companies, ignorance is not likely to hold water as a defense. This has led to the emergence of new tools and services designed to help companies identify the lineage of the code they download for free from the Internet or acquire from another business through more traditional corporate transactions.
News source: InformationWeek