Last year, business software maker Terracotta Inc. abandoned traditional sales models and dived into the complicated legal waters of open source.

Selling software this way attracted “an explosion” of customers — and brought a whole array of new legal questions, said Terracotta General Counsel Tim McIntyre. For instance, now that anyone can tinker with the company’s software and suggest changes, Terracotta must make sure the changes don’t infringe on anyone else’s copyrighted software code, McIntyre said.

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