ARCHIVE / What does Open Source mean?

Open Source refers to the public dissemination of the source code of computer programs.  While related to the Free Software Movement, the Open Source Movement is not actually the same.  Rather, the Open Source Movement strives to allow people to inspect the design of the inner workings of the software they have or wish to use.  The reasoning behind Open Source is that open source code allows for greater accountability and thus, eventually reliability.  In many cases, the users of Open Source software have actually contributed significantly to the refinement and development of Open Source software programs, even in cases where the software was developed for sale by a for-profit company.  In providing software applications without source code, companies have generally claimed to be protecting their proprietary technology from competitors despite the fact that reselling copyrighted material in another package is illegal. 

last updated 2007.09.26

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