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Are Open Source Violations Lurking in Your Code?

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IT organizations that feel safe from open source licensing violations might be wise to check their code, as open source components are rapidly seeping into applications by way of offshore and in-house developers taking open source shortcuts, as well as a growing population of open source-savvy grads entering the workforce.

"With all of these new aspects, open source is something companies are going to have to get their heads around," says Anthony Armenta, vice president of engineering at Wyse Technology, a maker of thin clients.

It's not just about unearthing open source code that's in violation of licensing, either. Open source must be managed like any other software component, as security vulnerabilities arise and patches become available. Wyse has been using Palamida, which checks code bases against a 6TB library of known open source projects, fingerprints, and binary files, to track its open source usage for the past year.

Last year, Palamida added open source vulnerability alerts and other security-related features to its service. Today, the company announced both electronic delivery of vulnerability updates and unique identifiers to better manage open source code.

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Had all s/w been free (libre)

Had all s/w been free (libre), this would not be an issue.

VMware: A "significant portion" of our technology may include open source

VMware seems to be dancing around the elephant in the room: its controversial use of Linux in its proprietary hypervisor technology. It's interesting that the company, which has refused to comment publicly on these specific allegations, is content to serve up a blanket advisory in its 10-Q.

If I were a VMware shareholder, I'd want clarity. The company suggests that it's complying with all open-source licenses, to the best of its knowledge. If this is true, it's perhaps time for the company to put those claims to a public sniff test.

The developer community hasn't been amused by VMware's use of embedded Linux in its hypervisor technology. Why not call out specifically why VMware feels it is in compliance with the GPL?

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