Open Source Licensing
Open-source software presents a wide variety of options for both marketects and tarchitects. Using key open source technologies within your products can provide substantial benefits to you and your customers. This section assumes that you've evaluated a given open-source technology against your technical requirements. It is neither a blanket endorsement nor an indictment of the quality or appropriateness of a given technology but merely states that, for whatever reason, you want to use an open-source technology as part of your overall solution.
The first step is to read the specific license that governs your technology, as all open-source licenses are not created equal. It may seem that the differences are minor, but helping you understand the nuances of these agreements is the kind of work that lawyers love to charge for!
When you're finished reading the license, look for the sections that govern how the licensed technology can be incorporated into other technologiesthis is likely to be your most important area of concern. According to the Open Source Definition, version 1.9 (www.opensource.org), your fears are likely to be unfounded as it is entirely permissible to incorporate a portion of an open-source technology into your product (see also the GNU Lesser General Public License ), provided that you maintain the same rights for the incorporated technology and that you meet the other terms of the specific license.
It is beyond the scope of this book to provide detailed legal advice (remember, I'm not a lawyer), but practically this means that you can often use a variety of open-source technologies to create a new, for-profit work. This is an advantage, and open-source strategies should be considered by both the marketect and the tarchitect.