Appendix 10A. Open Source Corporate Policy

This appendix is an example of a corporate open source policy. Corporate open source policies vary significantly in substance, complexity, style, and length. If you are developing a policy for your company, you should consult a lawyer experienced in open source issues.

[Company] Open Source Software Policy

I. Introduction

The availability of open source software has fundamentally changed the way software is acquired for use and development. Company wishes to provide guidelines and policies to assist its engineers and managers to participate in the open source movement—to allow Company to efficiently develop software and to maximize the benefit to Company's customers—at a minimum of risk to Company.

By definition, open source software is software that, when licensed, is made available in source code format. Open source software is plentiful, and is either free of charge or much less expensive to acquire than commercially available code. Open source software also often can be culled from a variety of sources, which helps Company avoid being locked into the support, maintenance, and development constraints associated with dependence on a single supplier. Perhaps most important, open source software is constantly being tested, debugged, and upgraded by the open source code community—composed, in the main, of the same programmers that Company might otherwise have to pay to perform that work.

Still, the decision to incorporate open source software ...

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