It is the CEO’s responsibility (and liability)

A CEO (Geschäftsführer) is generally responsible for ensuring that the company entrusted to them is operating at the state of the art. If they are negligent of this and something goes wrong, shareholders may well be on their back, suing them for failure of due care and diligence or just generally for mismanagement.

Open source license compliance is a must today, not a nice to have. If the CEO doesn’t make sure the company’s software products comply with the licenses of any open-source code included in their project and products, they are not operating their company at the state of the art. Consequently, if the company gets sued over license incompliance, the CEO is at fault.

Naturally, a CEO will want to delegate this responsibility. They are unlikely to single-handedly lead the open source program office or whoever is tasked with an equivalent mandate. But they are where the buck stops. Leading companies like Google and Microsoft show us how to do it, and there are no excuses any longer to not ship a license-compliant product.

You may like to hear that our training on license-compliant delivery of projects and products that contain open-source code has helped many of our customers sleep well at night. The next seminar instance is up April 21st, a month from now. Don’t miss it!