I could license you to use this software, but then I’d have to kill you

If open source struck you as strange when you first heard of the concept, you don't know the half of it. Developers, exercising their legal right specify their own licensing terms, have come up with some pretty wacky stuff. Fact or...

Brotherly advice about open source licensing for startups

"What would you tell your brother-in-law?"...about open source licensing issues, if he ran a software startup. That was the question I kicked around with Black Duck colleagues when preparing for a panel discussion with a group of...

You can't even drive free software without a license

Software licensing in general, and open source licensing in particular, is poorly understood. I was reminded of this last week when speaking on a panel to a group of investors and entrepreneurs, the value of whose companies depends...

Freedom, the Marathon, Open Source Software and Beer

In honor of Patriots’ and Marathon Day (and cause it’s my birthday) let’s look at the concept of freedom in the software and running worlds. The word “free” is often associated with both barefoot running and open source software. The...

A smart approach to crowdsourcing yields brilliant results

I put crowdsourcing to the test to see how quickly and cheaply I could assemble a list of the top 50 US companies' general counsels. This was no academic exercise as my company Black Duck often works with lawyers in large...

Could designer bras be a natural fit for crowdsourcing?

With last week's launch of Fashion Stake, a crowdsource fashion company, I become even more convinced that crowdsourcing is not getting the attention it deserves. There are a number of startups implementing crowdsourcing in new ways...

A peek behind the curtain at Google’s best unkept secret

What looked like it was going to be forty days and forty nights of rain in the northeast a couple weeks ago, put me in a circumstance that piqued my interest in Google Maps, specifically how they get those red, green and yellow (not...

When the going gets gnarly...cheat! Look to crowdsourcing for pain-in-the-whatever problems.

At the Open Source Business Conference last week, industry pundit Tim O'Reilly gave a very well received talk, the theme of which was the importance of data over algorithms and applications. "The open source community will have to...

Smart phones get their smarts from open source

Recent statistics from the cell phone industry and research released yesterday by Black Duck Software (my employer) make it clear that the mobile segment is vibrant with open source activity.My blogomaniac buddy Alan Shimel recently...

Every sport has its radical fringe

I was speaking with Black Duck's Israeli partner the other day about some deals he's working on. It was end of his day and so he was up for socializing. "Tell me, you do this barefoot running, Phil?" He follows me on Twitter, and I...

Free code comes with burdens, just like Raymond's dirt

“You can’t get there from here” is probably the most famous bit from Down East humorist Marshall Dodge. Having spent a good bit of time living in the North Country (that being how northern New Englanders refer to their environs),...

You say, “Potato,” I say, “Multi-Source Development”

I’m trying to keep the carbs down, so in my house we wrestle more with the tomAYto/toMAHto distinction. A quick lunchtime survey in the Black Duck lunchroom suggested to me that developers may be less carb conscious, but they were...

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