Open source

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Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, [1] design documents, [2] or content of the product. The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration. [3] [4] A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. The open-source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code. The model is used for projects such as in open-source appropriate technology, [5] and open-source drug discovery. [6] [7]


Open source promotes universal access via an open-source or free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint. [8] [9] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers have used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet. [10] The open-source software movement arose to clarify copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues.

Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use or modification from its original design. Code is released under the terms of a software license. Depending on the license terms, others may then download, modify, and publish their version (fork) back to the community.

Many large formal institutions have sprung up to support the development of the open-source movement, including the Apache Software Foundation, which supports community projects such as the open-source framework Apache Hadoop and the open-source HTTP server Apache HTTP.


The sharing of technical information predates the Internet and the personal computer considerably. For instance, in the early years of automobile development a group of capital monopolists owned the rights to a 2-cycle gasoline-engine patent originally filed by George B. Selden. [11] By controlling this patent, they were able to monopolize the industry and force car manufacturers to adhere to their demands, or risk a lawsuit.

In 1911, independent automaker Henry Ford won a challenge to the Selden patent. The result was that the Selden patent became virtually worthless and a new association (which would eventually become the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association) was formed. [11] The new association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US automotive manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money among all the manufacturers. [11] By the time the US entered World War II, 92 Ford patents and 515 patents from other companies were being shared among these manufacturers, without any exchange of money (or lawsuits). [11]

Early instances of the free sharing of source code include IBM's source releases of its operating systems and other programs in the 1950s and 1960s, and the SHARE user group that formed to facilitate the exchange of software. [12] [13] Beginning in the 1960s, ARPANET researchers used an open "Request for Comments" (RFC) process to encourage feedback in early telecommunication network protocols. This led to the birth of the early Internet in 1969.

The sharing of source code on the Internet began when the Internet was relatively primitive, with software distributed via UUCP, Usenet, IRC, and Gopher. BSD, for example, was first widely distributed by posts to comp.os.linux on the Usenet, which is also where its development was discussed. Linux followed in this model.

Open source as a term

There is an example of "open source," meaning the source code was published, but not free software (purchasing a license was still required for use), in 1996. [14] Other recollection have it in use during the 1980s. [15]

It was later proposed by a group of people in the free software movement who were critical of the political agenda and moral philosophy implied in the term "free software" and sought to reframe the discourse to reflect a more commercially minded position. [16] In addition, the ambiguity of the term "free software" was seen as discouraging business adoption. [17] [18] However, the ambiguity of the word "free" exists primarily in English as it can refer to cost. The group included Christine Peterson, Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, Jon Hall, Sam Ockman, Michael Tiemann and Eric S. Raymond. Peterson suggested "open source" at a meeting [19] held at Palo Alto, California, in reaction to Netscape's announcement in January 1998 of a source code release for Navigator. Linus Torvalds gave his support the following day, and Phil Hughes backed the term in Linux Journal . Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, quickly decided against endorsing the term. [19] [20] Netscape released its source code under the Netscape Public License and later under the Mozilla Public License. [21]

Raymond was especially active in the effort to popularize the new term. He made the first public call to the free software community to adopt it in February 1998. [22] Shortly after, he founded The Open Source Initiative in collaboration with Bruce Perens. [19]

The term gained further visibility through an event organized in April 1998 by technology publisher Tim O'Reilly. Originally titled the "Freeware Summit" and later known as the "Open Source Summit," [23] the event was attended by the leaders of many of the most important free and open-source projects, including Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Eric Allman, Guido van Rossum, Michael Tiemann, Paul Vixie, Jamie Zawinski, and Eric Raymond. At that meeting, alternatives to the term "free software" were discussed. Tiemann argued for "sourceware" as a new term, while Raymond argued for "open source." The assembled developers took a vote, and the winner was announced at a press conference the same evening. [23]

"Open source" has never managed to entirely supersede the older term "free software," giving rise to the combined term free and open-source software (FOSS).


Area of application of open source software. Anwendungsgebiete Open Source.svg
Area of application of open source software.
Survey on the reasons for using Open Source in 200 Swiss organizations. Einsatzgrunde Open Source.svg
Survey on the reasons for using Open Source in 200 Swiss organizations.

Some economists agree that open-source is an information good [25] or "knowledge good" with original work involving a significant amount of time, money, and effort. The cost of reproducing the work is low enough that additional users may be added at zero or near zero cost this is referred to as the marginal cost of a product. Copyright creates a monopoly so that the price charged to consumers can be significantly higher than the marginal cost of production. This allows the author to recoup the cost of making the original work. Copyright thus creates access costs for consumers who value the work more than the marginal cost but less than the initial production cost. Access costs also pose problems for authors who wish to create a derivative work—such as a copy of a software program modified to fix a bug or add a feature, or a remix of a song—but are unable or unwilling to pay the copyright holder for the right to do so.

Being organized as effectively a "consumers' cooperative", open source eliminates some of the access costs of consumers and creators of derivative works by reducing the restrictions of copyright. Basic economic theory predicts that lower costs would lead to higher consumption and also more frequent creation of derivative works. Organizations such as Creative Commons host websites where individuals can file for alternative "licenses", or levels of restriction, for their works. [26] These self-made protections free the general society of the costs of policing copyright infringement.

Others argue that since consumers do not pay for their copies, creators are unable to recoup the initial cost of production and thus have little economic incentive to create in the first place. By this argument, consumers would lose out because some of the goods they would otherwise purchase would not be available. In practice, content producers can choose whether to adopt a proprietary license and charge for copies, or an open license. Some goods which require large amounts of professional research and development, such as the pharmaceutical industry (which depends largely on patents, not copyright for intellectual property protection) are almost exclusively proprietary, although increasingly sophisticated technologies are being developed on open-source principles. [27]

There is evidence that open-source development creates enormous value. [28] For example, in the context of open-source hardware design, digital designs are shared for free and anyone with access to digital manufacturing technologies (e.g. RepRap 3D printers) can replicate the product for the cost of materials. [29] The original sharer may receive feedback and potentially improvements on the original design from the peer production community.

Many open source projects have a high economic value. According to the Battery Open Source Software Index (BOSS), the ten economically most important open source projects are: [30] [31]

RankingProjectLeading companyMarket Value
1 Linux Red Hat $16 billion
2 Git GitHub $2 billion
3 MySQL Oracle $1.87 billion
4 Node.js NodeSource?
5 Docker Docker$1 billion
6 Hadoop Cloudera $3 billion
7 Elasticsearch Elastic$700 million
8 Spark Databricks$513 million
9 MongoDB MongoDB$1.57 billion
10 Selenium Sauce Labs$470 million

The rank given is based on the activity regarding projects in online discussions, on GitHub, on search activity in search engines and on the influence on the labour market.

Licensing alternatives

Alternative arrangements have also been shown to result in good creation outside of the proprietary license model. Examples include:[ citation needed ]

Open collaboration

The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration, [3] [32] meaning "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." [3] A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. The open-source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code. The model is used for projects such as in open-source appropriate technology, [5] and open-source drug discovery. [6] [7]

The open-source model for software development inspired the use of the term to refer to other forms of open collaboration, such as in Internet forums, [8] mailing lists [33] and online communities. [34] Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including TEDx and Wikipedia. [35]

Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. [3] It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, [8] mailing lists, [33] Internet communities, [34] and many instances of open content, such as Creative Commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation. [3]

Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. [36] Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." [3] This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). [37] As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)." [38]

Open-source license

Open source promotes universal access via an open-source or free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint. [8] [9] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold in part due to the rise of the Internet. [39] The open-source software movement arose to clarify copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues.

An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified or shared (with or without modification) under defined terms and conditions. [40] [41] This allows end users and commercial companies to review and modify the source code, blueprint or design for their own customization, curiosity or troubleshooting needs. Open-source licensed software is mostly available free of charge, though this does not necessarily have to be the case. Licenses which only permit non-commercial redistribution or modification of the source code for personal use only are generally not considered as open-source licenses. However, open-source licenses may have some restrictions, particularly regarding the expression of respect to the origin of software, such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and a copyright statement within the code, or a requirement to redistribute the licensed software only under the same license (as in a copyleft license). One popular set of open-source software licenses are those approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) based on their Open Source Definition (OSD).


Open-source model application domains 121212 2 OpenSwissKnife.png
Open-source model application domains

Social and political views have been affected by the growth of the concept of open source. Advocates in one field often support the expansion of open source in other fields. But Eric Raymond and other founders of the open-source movement have sometimes publicly argued against speculation about applications outside software, saying that strong arguments for software openness should not be weakened by overreaching into areas where the story may be less compelling. The broader impact of the open-source movement, and the extent of its role in the development of new information sharing procedures, remain to be seen.

The open-source movement has inspired increased transparency and liberty in biotechnology research, for example CAMBIA [42] Even the research methodologies themselves can benefit from the application of open-source principles. [43] It has also given rise to the rapidly-expanding open-source hardware movement.

Computer software

Blender, an open-source 3D graphics editor, running in Windows 7 Blender 2.59 Startup.png
Blender, an open-source 3D graphics editor, running in Windows 7

Open-source software is software which source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. [44]

LibreOffice and the GNU Image Manipulation Program are examples of open source software. As they do with proprietary software, users must accept the terms of a license when they use open source software—but the legal terms of open source licenses differ dramatically from those of proprietary licenses.

Open-source code can evolve through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as large companies. Some of the individual programmers who start an open-source project may end up establishing companies offering products or services incorporating open-source programs.[ citation needed ] Examples of open-source software products are: [45]


Open Source Hardware logo Open-source-hardware-logo.svg
Open Source Hardware logo

Open-source hardware is hardware which initial specification, usually in a software format, is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the hardware and source code without paying royalties or fees. Open-source hardware evolves through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual hardware/software developers, hobbyists, as well as very large companies. Examples of open-source hardware initiatives are:

Food and beverages

Vores Ol - An Open Source Beer Voresol label medium.png
Vores Øl - An Open Source Beer
Barack Obama and Dakota Meyer drinking White House Honey Ale in 2011. The recipe is available for free. Barack Obama and Dakota Meyer sharing a beer.jpg
Barack Obama and Dakota Meyer drinking White House Honey Ale in 2011. The recipe is available for free.

Some publishers of open-access journals have argued that data from food science and gastronomy studies should be freely available to aid reproducibility. [50] A number of people have published creative commons licensed recipe books. [51]

Digital content

Open Knowledge Foundation logo OK LOGO COLOUR RGB.svg
Open Knowledge Foundation logo


Science and engineering

Open access Open Access logo PLoS white.svg
Open access


An open-source robot is a robot whose blueprints, schematics, or source code are released under an open-source model


VIA OpenBook is an open-source hardware laptop reference design. VIA OpenBook 1 M.jpg
VIA OpenBook is an open-source hardware laptop reference design.

"Open" versus "free" versus "free and open"

Free and open-source software (FOSS) or free/libre and open-source software (FLOSS) is openly shared source code that is licensed without any restrictions on usage, modification, or distribution.[ citation needed ] Confusion persists about this definition because the "free", also known as "libre", refers to the freedom of the product, not the price, expense, cost, or charge. For example, "being free to speak" is not the same as "free beer". [20]

Conversely, Richard Stallman argues the "obvious meaning" of term "open source" is that the source code is public/accessible for inspection, without necessarily any other rights granted, although the proponents of the term say the conditions in the Open Source Definition must be fulfilled. [77]

"Free and open" should not be confused with public ownership (state ownership), deprivatization (nationalization), anti-privatization (anti-corporate activism), or transparent behavior.[ citation needed ]


Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use for any (including commercial) purpose, or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community. Code is released under the terms of a software license. Depending on the license terms, others may then download, modify, and publish their version (fork) back to the community.

Agriculture, economy, manufacturing and production

Science and medicine





The rise of open-source culture in the 20th century resulted from a growing tension between creative practices that involve require access to content that is often copyrighted, and restrictive intellectual property laws and policies governing access to copyrighted content. The two main ways in which intellectual property laws became more restrictive in the 20th century were extensions to the term of copyright (particularly in the United States) and penalties, such as those articulated in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), placed on attempts to circumvent anti-piracy technologies. [78]

Although artistic appropriation is often permitted under fair-use doctrines, the complexity and ambiguity of these doctrines creates an atmosphere of uncertainty among cultural practitioners. Also, the protective actions of copyright owners create what some call a "chilling effect" among cultural practitioners. [79]

The idea of an "open-source" culture runs parallel to "Free Culture," but is substantively different. Free culture is a term derived from the free software movement, and in contrast to that vision of culture, proponents of open-source culture (OSC) maintain that some intellectual property law needs to exist to protect cultural producers. Yet they propose a more nuanced position than corporations have traditionally sought. Instead of seeing intellectual property law as an expression of instrumental rules intended to uphold either natural rights or desirable outcomes, an argument for OSC takes into account diverse goods (as in "the Good life") and ends.

Sites such as ccMixter offer up free web space for anyone willing to license their work under a Creative Commons license. The resulting cultural product is then available to download free (generally accessible) to anyone with an Internet connection. [80] Older, analog technologies such as the telephone or television have limitations on the kind of interaction users can have.

Through various technologies such as peer-to-peer networks and blogs, cultural producers can take advantage of vast social networks to distribute their products. As opposed to traditional media distribution, redistributing digital media on the Internet can be virtually costless. Technologies such as BitTorrent and Gnutella take advantage of various characteristics of the Internet protocol (TCP/IP) in an attempt to totally decentralize file distribution.



Open-source ethics is split into two strands:


Irish philosopher Richard Kearney has used the term "open-source Hinduism" to refer to the way historical figures such as Mohandas Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda worked upon this ancient tradition. [84]


Open-source journalism formerly referred to the standard journalistic techniques of news gathering and fact checking, reflecting open-source intelligence , a similar term used in military intelligence circles. Now, open-source journalism commonly refers to forms of innovative publishing of online journalism, rather than the sourcing of news stories by a professional journalist. In the 25 December 2006 issue of TIME magazine this is referred to as user created content and listed alongside more traditional open-source projects such as OpenSolaris and Linux.

Weblogs, or blogs, are another significant platform for open-source culture. Blogs consist of periodic, reverse chronologically ordered posts, using a technology that makes webpages easily updatable with no understanding of design, code, or file transfer required. While corporations, political campaigns and other formal institutions have begun using these tools to distribute information, many blogs are used by individuals for personal expression, political organizing, and socializing. Some, such as LiveJournal or WordPress, utilize open-source software that is open to the public and can be modified by users to fit their own tastes. Whether the code is open or not, this format represents a nimble tool for people to borrow and re-present culture; whereas traditional websites made the illegal reproduction of culture difficult to regulate, the mutability of blogs makes "open sourcing" even more uncontrollable since it allows a larger portion of the population to replicate material more quickly in the public sphere.

Messageboards are another platform for open-source culture. Messageboards (also known as discussion boards or forums), are places online where people with similar interests can congregate and post messages for the community to read and respond to. Messageboards sometimes have moderators who enforce community standards of etiquette such as banning spammers. Other common board features are private messages (where users can send messages to one another) as well as chat (a way to have a real time conversation online) and image uploading. Some messageboards use phpBB, which is a free open-source package. Where blogs are more about individual expression and tend to revolve around their authors, messageboards are about creating a conversation amongst its users where information can be shared freely and quickly. Messageboards are a way to remove intermediaries from everyday life—for instance, instead of relying on commercials and other forms of advertising, one can ask other users for frank reviews of a product, movie or CD. By removing the cultural middlemen, messageboards help speed the flow of information and exchange of ideas.

OpenDocument is an open document file format for saving and exchanging editable office documents such as text documents (including memos, reports, and books), spreadsheets, charts, and presentations. Organizations and individuals that store their data in an open format such as OpenDocument avoid being locked into a single software vendor, leaving them free to switch software if their current vendor goes out of business, raises their prices, changes their software, or changes their licensing terms to something less favorable.

Open-source movie production is either an open call system in which a changing crew and cast collaborate in movie production, a system in which the result is made available for re-use by others or in which exclusively open-source products are used in the production. The 2006 movie Elephants Dream is said to be the "world's first open movie", [85] created entirely using open-source technology.

An open-source documentary film has a production process allowing the open contributions of archival material footage, and other filmic elements, both in unedited and edited form, similar to crowdsourcing. By doing so, on-line contributors become part of the process of creating the film, helping to influence the editorial and visual material to be used in the documentary, as well as its thematic development. The first open-source documentary film is the non-profit WBCN and the American Revolution , which went into development in 2006, and will examine the role media played in the cultural, social and political changes from 1968 to 1974 through the story of radio station WBCN-FM in Boston. [86] [87] [88] [89] The film is being produced by Lichtenstein Creative Media and the non-profit Center for Independent Documentary. Open Source Cinema is a website to create Basement Tapes, a feature documentary about copyright in the digital age, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada. [90] Open-source film-making refers to a form of film-making that takes a method of idea formation from open-source software, but in this case the 'source' for a filmmaker is raw unedited footage rather than programming code. It can also refer to a method of film-making where the process of creation is 'open' i.e. a disparate group of contributors, at different times contribute to the final piece.

Open-IPTV is IPTV that is not limited to one recording studio, production studio, or cast. Open-IPTV uses the Internet or other means to pool efforts and resources together to create an online community that all contributes to a show.


Open Educational Resources logo Global Open Educational Resources Logo.svg
Open Educational Resources logo

Within the academic community, there is discussion about expanding what could be called the "intellectual commons" (analogous to the Creative Commons). Proponents of this view have hailed the Connexions Project at Rice University, OpenCourseWare project at MIT, Eugene Thacker's article on "open-source DNA", the "Open Source Cultural Database", Salman Khan's Khan Academy and Wikipedia as examples of applying open source outside the realm of computer software.

Open-source curricula are instructional resources whose digital source can be freely used, distributed and modified.

Another strand to the academic community is in the area of research. Many funded research projects produce software as part of their work. Due to the benefits of sharing software openly in scientific endeavours, [91] there is an increasing interest in making the outputs of research projects available under an open-source license. In the UK the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has developed a policy on open-source software. JISC also funds a development service called OSS Watch which acts as an advisory service for higher and further education institutions wishing to use, contribute to and develop open-source software.

On 30 March 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which included $2 billion over four years to fund the TAACCCT program, which is described as "the largest OER (open education resources) initiative in the world and uniquely focused on creating curricula in partnership with industry for credentials in vocational industry sectors like manufacturing, health, energy, transportation, and IT". [92]

Innovation communities

The principle of sharing pre-dates the open-source movement; for example, the free sharing of information has been institutionalized in the scientific enterprise since at least the 19th century. Open-source principles have always been part of the scientific community. The sociologist Robert K. Merton described the four basic elements of the community—universalism (an international perspective), communalism (sharing information), objectivity (removing one's personal views from the scientific inquiry) and organized skepticism (requirements of proof and review) that describe the (idealised) scientific community.

These principles are, in part, complemented by US law's focus on protecting expression and method but not the ideas themselves. There is also a tradition of publishing research results to the scientific community instead of keeping all such knowledge proprietary. One of the recent initiatives in scientific publishing has been open access—the idea that research should be published in such a way that it is free and available to the public. There are currently many open access journals where the information is available free online, however most journals do charge a fee (either to users or libraries for access). The Budapest Open Access Initiative is an international effort with the goal of making all research articles available free on the Internet.

The National Institutes of Health has recently proposed a policy on "Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information". This policy would provide a free, searchable resource of NIH-funded results to the public and with other international repositories six months after its initial publication. The NIH's move is an important one because there is significant amount of public funding in scientific research. Many of the questions have yet to be answered—the balancing of profit vs. public access, and ensuring that desirable standards and incentives do not diminish with a shift to open access.

Benjamin Franklin was an early contributor eventually donating all his inventions including the Franklin stove, bifocals, and the lightning rod to the public domain.

New NGO communities are starting to use the open-source technology as a tool. One example is the Open Source Youth Network started in 2007 in Lisboa by ISCA members. [93]

Open innovation is also a new emerging concept which advocate putting R&D in a common pool. The Eclipse platform is openly presenting itself as an Open innovation network. [94]

Arts and recreation

Copyright protection is used in the performing arts and even in athletic activities. Some groups have attempted to remove copyright from such practices. [95]

In 2012, Russian music composer, scientist and Russian Pirate Party member Victor Argonov presented detailed raw files of his electronic opera "2032" [96] under free license CC-BY-NC 3.0 (later relicensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0 [97] ). This opera was originally composed and published in 2007 by Russian label MC Entertainment as a commercial product, but then the author changed its status to free. In his blog [98] he said that he decided to open raw files (including wav, midi and other used formats) to the public in order to support worldwide pirate actions against SOPA and PIPA. Several Internet resources [99] [100] [101] [102] called "2032" the first open-source musical opera in history.

The following are events and applications that have been developed via the open source community, and echo the ideologies of the open source movement. [103]

Open Education Consortium  — an organization composed of various colleges that support open source and share some of their material online. This organization, headed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was established to aid in the exchange of open source educational materials.

Wikipedia  — user-generated online encyclopedia with sister projects in academic areas, such as Wikiversity  — a community dedicated to the creation and exchange of learning materials [104] [ failed verification ]

Project Gutenberg  — prior to the existence of Google Scholar Beta, this was the first supplier of electronic books and the very first free library project [104] [ failed verification ]

Synthetic Biology- This new technology is potentially important because it promises to enable cheap, lifesaving new drugs as well as helping to yield biofuels that may help to solve our energy problem. Although synthetic biology has not yet come out of its "lab" stage, it has potential to become industrialized in the near future. In order to industrialize open source science, there are some scientists who are trying to build their own brand of it. [105]

The open-access movement is a movement that is similar in ideology to the open source movement. Members of this movement maintain that academic material should be readily available to provide help with "future research, assist in teaching and aid in academic purposes." The Open access movement aims to eliminate subscription fees and licensing restrictions of academic materials [106]

The free-culture movement is a movement that seeks to achieve a culture that engages in collective freedom via freedom of expression, free public access to knowledge and information, full demonstration of creativity and innovation in various arenas and promotion of citizen liberties. [107] [ citation needed ]

Creative Commons is an organization that "develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation." It encourages the use of protected properties online for research, education, and creative purposes in pursuit of a universal access. Creative Commons provides an infrastructure through a set of copyright licenses and tools that creates a better balance within the realm of "all rights reserved" properties. [108] The Creative Commons license offers a slightly more lenient alternative to "all rights reserved" copyrights for those who do not wish to exclude the use of their material. [109]

The Zeitgeist Movement is an international social movement that advocates a transition into a sustainable "resource-based economy" based on collaboration in which monetary incentives are replaced by commons-based ones with everyone having access to everything (from code to products) as in "open source everything". [110] [111] While its activism and events are typically focused on media and education, TZM is a major supporter of open source projects worldwide since they allow for uninhibited advancement of science and technology, independent of constraints posed by institutions of patenting and capitalist investment. [112]

P2P Foundation is an "international organization focused on studying, researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices in a very broad sense". Its objectives incorporate those of the open source movement, whose principles are integrated in a larger socio-economic model. [113]

See also

Terms based on open source


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Free software</span> Software licensed to preserve user freedoms

Free software or libre software, infrequently known as freedom-respecting software, is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty, not price; all users are legally free to do what they want with their copies of a free software regardless of how much is paid to obtain the program. Computer programs are deemed "free" if they give end-users ultimate control over the software and, subsequently, over their devices.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">GNU</span> Free software collection

GNU is an extensive collection of free software, which can be used as an operating system or can be used in parts with other operating systems. The use of the completed GNU tools led to the family of operating systems popularly known as Linux. Most of GNU is licensed under the GNU Project's own General Public License (GPL).

An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions. This allows end users and commercial companies to review and modify the source code, blueprint or design for their own customization, curiosity or troubleshooting needs. Open-source licensed software is mostly available free of charge, though this does not necessarily have to be the case.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open-source software</span> Software licensed to ensure source code usage rights

Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. Open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration, meaning any capable user is able to participate online in development, making the number of possible contributors indefinite. The ability to examine the code facilitates public trust in the software.

Commercial software, or seldom payware, is a computer software that is produced for sale or that serves commercial purposes. Commercial software can be proprietary software or free and open-source software.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open-design movement</span> Movement for product development with publicly shared designs

The open-design movement involves the development of physical products, machines and systems through use of publicly shared design information. This includes the making of both free and open-source software (FOSS) as well as open-source hardware. The process is generally facilitated by the Internet and often performed without monetary compensation. The goals and philosophy of the movement are identical to that of the open-source movement, but are implemented for the development of physical products rather than software. Open design is a form of co-creation, where the final product is designed by the users, rather than an external stakeholder such as a private company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open-source hardware</span> Hardware from the open-design movement

Open-source hardware (OSH) consists of physical artifacts of technology designed and offered by the open-design movement. Both free and open-source software (FOSS) and open-source hardware are created by this open-source culture movement and apply a like concept to a variety of components. It is sometimes, thus, referred to as FOSH. The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned so that others can make it – coupling it closely to the maker movement. Hardware design, in addition to the software that drives the hardware, are all released under free/libre terms. The original sharer gains feedback and potentially improvements on the design from the FOSH community. There is now significant evidence that such sharing can drive a high return on investment for the scientific community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Free and open-source software</span> Software whose source code is available and which is permissively licensed

Free and open-source software (FOSS) is a term used to refer to groups of software consisting of both free software and open-source software where anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. This is in contrast to proprietary software, where the software is under restrictive copyright licensing and the source code is usually hidden from the users.

Free/open-source software – the source availability model used by free and open-source software (FOSS) – and closed source are two approaches to the distribution of software.

Open source products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product.

Multi-licensing is the practice of distributing software under two or more different sets of terms and conditions. This may mean multiple different software licenses or sets of licenses. Prefixes may be used to indicate the number of licenses used, e.g. dual-licensed for software licensed under two different licenses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open Source Judaism</span>

Open-source Judaism is a name given to initiatives within the Jewish community employing open content and open-source licensing strategies for collaboratively creating and sharing works about or inspired by Judaism. Open-source efforts in Judaism utilize licensing strategies by which contemporary products of Jewish culture under copyright may be adopted, adapted, and redistributed with credit and attribution accorded to the creators of these works. Often collaborative, these efforts are comparable to those of other open-source religious initiatives inspired by the free culture movement to openly share and broadly disseminate seminal texts and techniques under the aegis of copyright law. Combined, these initiatives describe an open-source movement in Judaism that values correct attribution of sources, creative sharing in an intellectual commons, adaptable future-proof technologies, open technological standards, open access to primary and secondary sources and their translations, and personal autonomy in the study and craft of works of Torah.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of free and open-source software</span> Aspect of history

In the 1950s and 1960s, computer operating software and compilers were delivered as a part of hardware purchases without separate fees. At the time, source code, the human-readable form of software, was generally distributed with the software providing the ability to fix bugs or add new functions. Universities were early adopters of computing technology. Many of the modifications developed by universities were openly shared, in keeping with the academic principles of sharing knowledge, and organizations sprung up to facilitate sharing. As large-scale operating systems matured, fewer organizations allowed modifications to the operating software, and eventually such operating systems were closed to modification. However, utilities and other added-function applications are still shared and new organizations have been formed to promote the sharing of software.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Free content</span> Creative work with few or no restrictions on how it may be used

Free content, libre content, libre information, or free information, is any kind of functional work, work of art, or other creative content that meets the definition of a free cultural work.

Companies whose business centers on the development of open-source software employ a variety of business models to solve the challenge of how to make money providing software that is by definition licensed free of charge. Each of these business strategies rests on the premise that users of open-source technologies are willing to purchase additional software features under proprietary licenses, or purchase other services or elements of value that complement the open-source software that is core to the business. This additional value can be, but not limited to, enterprise-grade features and up-time guarantees to satisfy business or compliance requirements, performance and efficiency gains by features not yet available in the open source version, legal protection, or professional support/training/consulting that are typical of proprietary software applications.

Proprietary software, also known as non-free software or closed-source software, is computer software for which the software's publisher or another person reserves some licensing rights to use, modify, share modifications, or share the software, restricting user freedom with the software they lease. It is the opposite of open-source or free software. Non-free software sometimes includes patent rights.

The open-source-software movement is a movement that supports the use of open-source licenses for some or all software, as part of the broader notion of open collaboration. The open-source movement was started to spread the concept/idea of open-source software. Programmers who support the open-source-movement philosophy contribute to the open-source community by voluntarily writing and exchanging programming code for software development. The term "open source" requires that no one can discriminate against a group in not sharing the edited code or hinder others from editing their already-edited work. This approach to software development allows anyone to obtain and modify open-source code. These modifications are distributed back to the developers within the open-source community of people who are working with the software. In this way, the identities of all individuals participating in code modification are disclosed and the transformation of the code is documented over time. This method makes it difficult to establish ownership of a particular bit of code but is in keeping with the open-source-movement philosophy. These goals promote the production of high-quality programs as well as working cooperatively with other similarly-minded people to improve open-source technology.

The Shared Source Initiative (SSI) is a source-available software licensing scheme launched by Microsoft in May 2001. The program includes a spectrum of technologies and licenses, and most of its source code offerings are available for download after eligibility criteria are met.

Software categories are groups of software. They allow software to be understood in terms of those categories, instead of the particularities of each package. Different classification schemes consider different aspects of software.

The digital commons are a form of commons involving the distribution and communal ownership of informational resources and technology. Resources are typically designed to be used by the community by which they are created.


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Further reading