My possibly ignorant question about IP law and Open Source

by John Adams

Why would an ISP provide Open Source software to clients but find it too risky to use internally? That's the question I'm pondering while listening to the Q&A after the SCO Moot Court at OSCON.

I've been wondering ever since I heard someone working at a company that, in its role as an ISP, provides open source languages and applications--Perl and MySQL, among others--got a commendation for replacing all open source software used in his deparment with proprietary software. This utterly puzzles me! Why would it be too risky legally to use open source internally (given as the main reason for the replacement), but not too risky to provide and support it for shell accounts?

Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer.