Open source software licenses increasingly are becoming common, but they still are subject to license agreements even if the price is free. And not all open source is really open source.

That’s one of the messages in a HIMSS15 session, “Addressing Risks and Avoiding Crisis from the Trenches,” on April 13 at 11:30 a.m. in Room W194. James Wieland, a principal at the Ober|Kaler law firm, will discuss the nuances of open source licensure.

For instance, depending on the terms of the license, a user of the software may or may not be required to share revisions, he notes. “That may or may not be what you expected or want from a business perspective.”

Some open source licenses are proprietary; you can’t have the source code, can’t license any changes, and agree not to try to reverse engineer the code. With other licenses, you can get the source code and license your modifications. Typically, there’s no service guarantees unless the license is proprietary. It’s important that users understand the distinctions because improvements may be proprietary or confidential, Wieland says.

During the session, Gerry Hinkley, a partner in the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm will talk about the business case for outsourcing security and what managed security services involve, and then will explain the benefits and concerns of using such a service. Jody Westby, CEO of Global Cyber Risk LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy, will handle identifying, quantifying and managing cyber risks.

“Our overriding goal is for attendees to understand from a legal and technical perspective management of cybersecurity, open source and outsourcing security functions,” Wieland says. “We’ll look at these issues in a different way.”

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