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This tutorial is an overview of how best to make use of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) components and libraries, as part of your own in-house software solutions, whilst abiding by the terms and conditions of their licences. These guidelines are not exhaustive, however they will attempt to cover some of the more relevant aspects of FOSS licensing, such as:

  • The risks and conditions associated with particular FOSS licences.
  • The limitations of those licences (both in what they do and the things they permit).
  • Simple guidelines for how best to meet the conditions of specific licences.

An understanding of the rights and limitations associated with different software licences is crucial in order to ensure compliance. Failure to abide by the conditions of a software licence, whether by choice or by accident, can leave you or your company liable for violation of copyright law.