In an article entitled Computer Partner, the writer gives four pieces of advice for those who would like to use open source code. Assume that you will get caught, talk to your lawyers, create ground rules and investigate your code.
The increasing pressure arising from intense external competition and other variables has made open source violations a more common problem, more specifically that source code is not acknowledged and used without respecting the “General Public License” (GPL) ethics.
One open source programmer, Harald Welte, has managed to force more than 100 companies to modify or release various pieces of software, in which they had used open source code without respecting the GPL.
And there are at least two companies out there whose job is to monitor applications and compare them to each other in a bid to identify those who are actually stealing/borrowing/plagiarism, even if the culprit changes names or removes or adds spaces.
Companies of all sizes have been concerned by this problem. Asus, Belkin, Fujitsu Siemens are the better known. The fact that you are not aware about open source licenses doesn't shield you from potential legal issues.