Minneapolis patent attorney Mark Stignani discusses open source software and how it is enforced.
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OSS enforcement is sometimes used as a trap by some companies. They have an open source version of their code and they have a proprietary version of their code. And they actively go out and look for people who have actually listed the code as being utilized in a product. And then they go to that person and say, “Wouldn’t you like to buy an enterprise license for this thing?” And in many cases, if they’re told no, then they will look a bit deeper and make sure that their code isn’t being used outside the license. Otherwise, a lot of companies – there are a lot of programmers in companies who actively go out and look for their software that they’ve contributed, just to see if there’s anybody that’s not operating in the spirit of open source. Which is why, I really encourage people to be part of the communities that they work with.