FOSS Governance Programs: Why do You Need One?

Michelle Carusone, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., USA

Free and Open Source Software (“FOSS”) has been an established part of software coding for some time. In the words of “FOSSCON 2017”: In the early days FOSS was primarily a hobbyist alternative, but today it has become ubiquitous, making its way into our phones, our cars, our schools, government, offices and home appliances. With the proliferation of FOSS, technology companies are leveraging its value as they incorporate it into their products. Many technology companies also balance the risks associated with that use through formal FOSS governance programs. FOSS governance programs (also referred to as FOSS compliance programs) provide an end-to-end solution for understanding FOSS usage in an enterprise, reviewing requests to use FOSS, complying with FOSS licenses, protecting against the risk involved in the use of FOSS, and, therefore, facilitating the use of FOSS in an organization’s technology.

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USA Corporate Governance Banking & Finance November 2017 Vol.11, No. 41, Autumn 2017

Michelle Carusone

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Michelle Carusone has practiced technology transactions for more than 15 years, including drafting, negotiating, and advising on software licenses, technology services agreements, hosted technology deals, and various other technology transaction arrangements, as well as the legal and regulatory issues surrounding such arrangements. She currently is Vice President and Senior Counsel in the Law Department of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., where she also is the lead attorney for Wells Fargo's free and open source software program.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

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Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial financial services through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, online (wellsfargo.com), and mobile devices. Wells Fargo does business with 70 million customers and one in three U.S. households. Wells Fargo has approximately 273,000 team members in 42 countries and territories across our more than 90 businesses. At the end of first quarter 2017, Wells Fargo ranked third in assets among U.S. banks.

USA Corporate Governance Banking & Finance November 2017 Vol.11, No. 41, Autumn 2017