Open source is a successful factor in software development these days. And if companies are convinced about the usage of open source software or libraries, at first sight it could be a successful way for developing software in a very fast and cost-effective way.
But there are legal disadvantages and problems when using open source projects or only parts of projects in commercial software packages.
Specifically as an user of third-party controls, you should watch carefully what vendors are saying (or not saying) about open source in their software components. It is very important to understand what kind of license obligations exist in your own source code.
With distributed and offshore developer teams, it often requires open source management processes to avoid surprises in the source code you are responsible for.
Before you decide whether you are using a third-party control, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Does the vendor indicate that open source is used?
In most cases, these vendors are publishing this information in the fine print of the license agreement (EULA)
If yes, do I have to publish my own software as open source as well?
More than 50% of the open source projects are published under the GPL license which require any software based on the component to be offered under the same "open source" terms. Do you really want to publish your source code?
How can I be sure that the open source parts in third-party controls doesn't violate any patents (now or in the future)?
Avoid Legal Problems by Using Trusted Closed Source Components
We at Text Control do not use any open source in our products. It is our mission to provide professional, legally indisputable and high quality software components. By using components from Text Control, you don't need to care about any of the above problems or questions.
Feel free to contact us, if you have any questions about this important topic. We are very interested in helping you with this.