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Open source software 101: Compliance and risk management

May 7, 2018

The use of open source software (OSS) — where the source code is made available under an open source licence — has become ubiquitous across many industries, especially for companies operating in the tech sector. But the use of OSS comes with a set of risks that businesses, including emerging and high growth companies, must understand.

Because protecting source codes is a key concern for many emerging and high growth companies — including in the context of strategic acquisitions — complying with open source licences and having robust policies and procedures in place is crucial in guarding against unintended consequences, such as the loss of rights to use the OSS software and monetary damages. This presentation by Sam Ip, an associate in Osler’s Technology Group, details key considerations for emerging and high growth companies regarding OSS. Available in both webinar and PowerPoint format, the goal of this presentation is to help you navigate the following issues:

  • definition of OSS and trends
  • associated risks and consequences of non-compliance
    • risks of using OSS in the context of a strategic acquisition
  • types of open source licences including “permissive” and “copyleft” licences
  • practical strategies to mitigate risks of using OSS
    • creating and maintaining inventory of open source usage
    • cautious use of copyleft licences in distributed software
    • governance strategy and policy
  • Osler’s Open Source Licence Identification Tool

For more information, contact Sam Ip, associate in Osler’s Technology Group, at or 416.862.5955.

This presentation is part of Osler’s Emerging and High Growth Companies 101 series, designed to help emerging ventures navigate through the various issues and legal requirements they will encounter throughout their growth cycle.


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