What Should IT Managers Know About Open-Source Licensing?

to IT Organization |

People who are themselves active in the open-source community give a lot of attention to licensing. When we wrote recently about a new Cisco messaging protocol, most of the Slashdot discussion and article contents were about the company's choice of open-source licenses. Similarly, it was mainly techies who seemed to get worked up when we wrote about the GPL v3 advantages and disadvantages.

However, I'm not sure if IT managers who are interested in adopting open-source software are paying as much attention to licensing and legal issues. And, arguably, they should be up-to-date on the subject.

So, what do you all think are the key issues that managers need to be aware of? For those who do care... how should they consider the license used? What license models can be trusted by IT? How open source is the dual license model?

Which of the various licensing models do you think will win out over time: GPLv3, AGPL, something else? Which should? When has a new license crossed the chasm?

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