What Is Open Source Software, and Why Does It Matter?

What Is Open Source Software, and Why Does It Matter?

Geeks often describe programs as being “open source” or “free software.” If you’re wondering exactly what these terms mean and why they matter, read on. (No, “free software” doesn’t just mean that you can download it for free.)

Whether a program is open-source or not doesn’t just matter to developers, it ultimately matters for users, too. Open-source software licenses give users freedoms they would not otherwise have.

The Definition of Open Source: If a program is open-source, its source code is freely available to its users. Its users – and anyone else – have the ability to take this source code, modify it, and distribute their own versions of the program. The users also have the ability to distribute as many copies of the original program as they want. Anyone can use the program for any purpose; there are no licensing fees or other restrictions on the software.

It's "Free as in Freedom" and not "Free as in beer".

A good explanation is given though with a bit more detail around licensing models too at https://www.howtogeek.com/129967/htg-explains-what-is-open-source-software-and-why-you-should-care/amp/. It's especially important too if you intend to you open source software for your business that you may also inherit obligations that must be honoured.

#opensource

What Is Open Source Software, and Why Does It Matter?
Geeks often describe programs as being “open source” or “free software.” If you’re wondering exactly what these terms mean and why they matter, read on. (No, “free software” doesn’t just mean that you can download it for free.)

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