Using open source with restrictive licensing could be “catastrophic” for software sellers, warns CAST

Software Intelligence firm CAST has partnered with Software Heritage, the universal archive of source code, to create a provenance index of the world’s largest open archive of software source code.

Leveraging a unique indexing technology developed through this partnership, users will be able to efficiently search the Software Heritage platform to identify the original occurrence of any given source file, as well as all its subsequent occurrences.

When connected to CAST Highlight, this index will provide lightning-fast identification of third-party source code across more than five billion known source code files, enabling better detection of external code, license risks and vulnerabilities.

In terms of how this new partnership will affect tech companies that sell software, CAST says that CAST Highlight will provide unprecedented insight into the evolution of software development.

“CAST Highlight’s lightning-fast portfolio analysis capabilities makes it incredibly useful for identifying risky hot spots within any organisation’s software systems, whether they are a tech start-up or an established banking institution,” CAST CEO Vincent Delaroche told PCR.

“As organisations, particularly tech companies, build proprietary solutions and tools that give them a competitive advantage, they should be aware of the amount of open source packages they’re using for that development work.

“Using open source with restrictive licensing could be catastrophic for any tech company that’s selling software, as some copy left type licenses state that anything built upon an open source component may also be deemed open source.

Delaroche continued: “This means company IP becomes open source. CAST and Software Heritage are making it easier than ever before for IT leaders to take control of this risk and protect their companies’ competitive advantage.”

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