ATLANTA, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Open Source software has become a legitimate alternative to proprietary software for businesses. In response to this, law firm Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, has formed a new legal group to help businesses address Open Source issues. The Chair of the new Open Source Group, Paul Arne, has also created a Web log, or blog, to provide resources and a forum for discussion for business and legal issues surrounding Open Source Software. The blog can be found at http://www.oslawblog.com . Many of America's largest companies use Open Source software and participate in Open Source development projects. New businesses have grown up to provide support, maintenance, consulting and training. Open Source software developments can produce robust software. Many software developers view Open Source as a godsend, says Arne. "Open Source is easy to find, easy to evaluate, and easy to incorporate into an existing development project," Arne says. But as with any type of business, unexpected issues may arise. "Because Open Source software is developed in a non-traditional way, special issues should be considered," Arne adds. For example, businesses that modify Open Source code for internal use may be surprised that seemingly innocuous actions may initiate distribution requirements, which could force them to give away their customized software for free, or at a modest cost, to their competitors. "Because Open Source is developed using a decidedly different business model, it's not surprising that businesses need to treat it differently in important ways," Arne says. He adds that one function of the group is to help businesses establish procedures for the use of Open Source. Morris, Manning & Martin's Open Source Group includes attorneys who specialize in business licensing, intellectual property, patent, trademark, litigation, copyright and other legal disciplines. The result is a complete legal solution for end users, companies developing products to sell on a proprietary basis and those who simply participate in the open source community. For more information about Morris, Manning & Martin's Open Source Group, visit the firm's Web page at http://www.mmmlaw.com , the blog at http://www.oslawblog.com or call 404-504-7784. Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, ( http://www.mmmlaw.com ) enjoys national prominence for its corporate finance, securities, litigation, technology, telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, environmental and real estate practices. Since 1999, the firm has represented clients in 20 IPOs worth more than $7 billion and in over 125 mergers and acquisitions worth more than $23 billion. Morris, Manning & Martin has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte and Washington, D.C.
SOURCE Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP