Why Am I (Still) Talking About This? In a concise amount of time, mobile apps have become a part of almost everything we do. Android Market (now Google Play) reported 600,000 apps, up from 150,000 just over a year ago. Forty-six million apps are reportedly downloaded each day from Apple's App Store. A recent Wall Street Journal article estimated the number of apps expected to be downloaded worldwide this year to be 136 billion. And it's not just mobile; there are now app stores for web apps, cloud apps, platform-specific apps, and so on. This is just the beginning.
Being that part of my role at OpenLogic includes helping our customers understand open source license compliance issues, I find the question of compliance in apps and app stores to be particularly interesting. This topic involves a relatively new form of distribution with vast impact. The law moves slower than technology, forcing us to swim in murky waters - how exciting! But this subject does not grab my attention just because of my job. I can't avoid the topic even when I'm not at the office. I've run into app developers (and ended up in conversations about development process and the use of open source) on bike rides, in coffee shops, and while getting a facial. Even those businesses that lend themselves to bricks-and-mortar are looking for an angle, as witnessed by a recent conversation with a local business owner who was trying to figure out how a mobile app could drive business to his store.
Last Friday, I wrote about some interesting research OpenLogic did on open source license compliance in mobile apps. This week continues that topic by looking more closely at compliance in terms of who is responsible and what are some of the challenges.
Shortly after announcing an update on mobile app open source compliance research, I presented on the broader topic of "Apps, App Store, and Open Source" at LinuxCon in San Diego. Judging from the number of people who attended the presentation and their engagement, this is still a topic many people are intrigued by. In this post, I'll provide an overview of the research and its potential implications.
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