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Open Source, Wikipedia

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Essay title: Open Source, Wikipedia

The Open Source Definition [wikipedia]

The Open Source Definition is used by the Open Source Initiative to determine whether or not a software license can be considered open source. The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Bruce Perens.[2]

Under The Open Source Definition, licenses must meet ten conditions in order to be considered open source licenses. Below is a copy of the definition, with unauthorized explanatory additions. There is a link to the original unmodified text below. It was taken under/for fair use.

Free Redistribution: the software can be freely given away or sold. (This was intended to encourage sharing and use of the software on a legal basis.)

Source Code: the source code must either be included or freely obtainable. (Without source code, making changes or modifications can be impossible.)

Derived Works: redistribution of modifications must be allowed. (To allow legal sharing and to permit new features or repairs.)

Integrity of The Author's Source Code: licenses may require that modifications are redistributed only as patches.

No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: no one can be locked out.

No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor: commercial users cannot be excluded.

Distribution of License: The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

License Must Not Be Specific to a Product: the program cannot be licensed only as part of a larger distribution.

License Must Not Restrict Other Software: the license cannot insist that any other software it is distributed with must also be open source.

License Must Be Technology-Neutral: no click-wrap licenses or other medium-specific ways of accepting the license must be required.

The The Open Source Definition is based on Richard Stallman's Free software definition for Free Software. While in practice licenses which meet the Free software definition almost always also meet the open source definition and vice-versa, the philosophy differs. [3]

Proliferation of the term

While the term applied originally only to the source code of software,[4] it is now being applied to many other areas such as open source ecology, a movement to decentralize technologies so that any human can use them. However, it is often misapplied to other areas which have different and competing principles, which overlap only partially.

Opponents of the spread of the label “open source,” including Richard Stallman, argue that the requirements and restrictions ensure the continuation of the effort, and resist attempts to redefine the labels. He argues also that most supporters of open source are actually supporters of much more equitable agreements and support re-integration of derived works and that most contributors do not intend to release their work to others who can extend it, hide the extensions, patent those very extensions, and demand royalties or restrict the use of all other users—all while not violating the open source principles with respect to the initial code they acquired.

Perens' principles

See The Open Source Definition for the exact operational definition and examples of licenses that satisfy, and do not satisfy, those principles.

Under Perens' definition, open source describes a broad general type of software license that makes source code available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent copyright restrictions. The principles, as stated, say absolutely nothing about trademark or patent use and require absolutely no cooperation to ensure that any common audit or release regime applies to any derived works. It is an explicit “feature” of open source that it may put no restrictions on the use or distribution by any organization or user.

It forbids this, in principle, to guarantee continued access to derived works even by the major original contributors. In contrast to free software or open content licenses, which are often confused with open source but have much more rigorous rules and conventions, open source deliberately errs in favor of allowing any use by any party whatsoever, and offers few or no means or recourses to prevent a free

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