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{{pp-pc1}}{{short description|software whose source code is available and which is permissively licensed}}{{redirect-multi|3|FLOSS|FOSS|Free and Open-source|hardware|Open-source hardware|other uses|Foss (disambiguation)|and|Floss (disambiguation)}}File:Desktop-Linux-Mint.png|thumb|A screenshot of Free and Open-source software (FOSS): Linux Mint running the Xfce desktop environment, Firefox, a calculator program, the built-in calendar, Vim, GIMP, and VLC media playerVLC media playerFree and open-source software (FOSS) is software that can be classified as both free software and open-source software.{{efn|FOSS is an inclusive term that covers both free software and open-source software, which despite describing similar development models, have differing cultures and philosophies.{{sfn|Feller|2005|pages=89, 362}} Free refers to the users' freedom to copy and re-use the software. The Free Software Foundation, an organization that advocates the free software model, suggests that to understand the concept, one should "think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer". (See WEB,weblink, The Free Software Definition, 4 February 2010, ) Free software focuses on the fundamental freedoms it gives to users, whereas open source software focuses on the perceived strengths of its peer-to-peer development model.{{sfn|Feller|2005|pages=101–106, 110–111}} FOSS is a term that can be used without particular bias towards either political approach.}} That is, 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.WEB,weblink What is free software? The Free Software Definition, 2018-06-12, The GNU Project --, 2018-09-15, 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.FOSS maintains the software user's civil liberty rights (see the Four Essential Freedoms, below). Other benefits of using FOSS can include decreased software costs, increased security and stability (especially in regard to malware), protecting privacy, education, and giving users more control over their own hardware. Free and open-source operating systems such as Linux and descendants of BSD are widely utilized today, powering millions of servers, desktops, smartphones (e.g. Android), and other devices.{{sfn|Hatlestad|2005}}{{sfn|Claburn|2007}} Free-software licenses and open-source licenses are used by many software packages. The free-software movement and the open-source software movement are online social movements behind widespread production and adoption of FOSS.{{TOC limit|3}}


{{Further|Alternative terms for free software}}"Free and open-source software" (FOSS) is an umbrella term for software that is simultaneously considered both Free software and open-source software. FOSS (free and open-source software) allows the user to inspect the source code and provides a high level of control of the software's functions compared to proprietary software. The term "free software" does not refer to the monetary cost of the software at all, but rather whether the license maintains the software user's civil liberties ("free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”). There are a number of related terms and abbreviations for free and open-source software (FOSS or F/OSS), or free/libre and open-source software (FLOSS or F/LOSS—FLOSS is the FSF-preferred term).WEB,weblink FLOSS and FOSS, Stallman, Richard, The GNU Project --, en, 2018-09-15, Although there is almost a complete overlap between free-software licenses and open-source-software licenses, there is a strong philosophical disagreement between the advocates of these two positions. The terminology of FOSS or "Free and Open-source software" was created to be a neutral on these philosophical disagreements between the FSF and OSI and have a single unified term that could refer to both concepts.WEB,weblink FLOSS and FOSS, Stallman, Richard,, en, 2018-09-15, As the Free Software Foundation (FSF) explains the philosophical difference between free software and open-source software: "The two terms describe almost the same category of software, but they stand for views based on fundamentally different values. Open-source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement. For the free-software movement, free software is an ethical imperative, essential respect for the users' freedom. By contrast, the philosophy of open-source considers issues in terms of how to make software “better”—in a practical sense only."WEB,weblink Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software, Stallman, Richard, 18 November 2016, The GNU Project --, 15 September 2018, In parallel to this the Open Source Initiative (OSI) considers many free-software licenses to also be open source.WEB,weblink Frequently Answered Questions {{!, Open Source Initiative||language=en|access-date=2018-09-15}} These include the latest versions of the FSF's three main licenses: the GPL, the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL).WEB, Licenses by Name,weblink Open Source License, Open Source Initiative, 23 October 2011,

Free software

Richard Stallman's Free Software Definition, adopted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), defines free software as a matter of liberty not price,WEB,weblink, 20 September 2011, 23 October 2011, and it upholds the Four Essential Freedoms. The earliest-known publication of the definition of his free-software idea was in the February 1986 editionWEB,weblink GNU's Bulletin, Volume 1 Number 1, page 8,, of the FSF's now-discontinued GNU's Bulletin publication. The canonical source for the document is in the philosophy section of the GNU Project website. As of August 2017, it is published there in 40 languages.WEB,weblink The Free Software Definition – Translations of this page,,

Four essential freedoms of Free Software

To meet the definition of "free software", the FSF requires the software's licensing respect the civil liberties / human rights of what the FSF calls the software user's "Four Essential Freedoms".WEB,weblink What is free software? The Free Software Definition, Free Software Foundation, 27 December 2016, The GNU Project --, 15 September 2018,
  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Open source

The open-source-software definition is used by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to determine whether a software license qualifies for the organization's insignia for Open-source software. The definition was based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines, written and adapted primarily by Bruce Perens.WEB,weblink The Open Source Definition by Bruce Perens, 1999-03-29, , Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, January 1999, {{ISBN|1-56592-582-3}}WEB,weblink The Open Source Definition, , The Open Source Definition according to the Open Source Initiative Perens did not base his writing on the Four Essential Freedoms of free software from the Free Software Foundation, which were only later available on the web.WEB,weblink,, 16 February 2009, 23 October 2011, Perens subsequently stated that he felt Eric Raymond's promotion of Open-source unfairly overshadowed the Free Software Foundation's efforts and reaffirmed his support for Free software.WEB,weblink It's Time to Talk About Free Software Again, yes,weblink 2014-07-16, In the following 2000s, he spoke about open source again.WEB,weblink Bruce Perens - State of Open Source Message: A New Decade For Open Source,, 1998-02-09, 2009-07-15, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 4 November 2013, WEB, Meet the Perens,weblink Joe, Barr, LinuxWorld Magazine, January 13, 2003,


{{Contradicts other| date = June 2015| 1 = History of free and open-source software| 2 = | 4 = section}}In the 1950s through the 1980s, it was common for computer users to have the source code for all programs they used, and the permission and ability to modify it for their own use. Software, including source code, was commonly shared by individuals who used computers, often as public domain software.WEB,weblink InfoWorld, 1983-06-23, Free software - Free software is a junkyard of software spare parts, Tom, Shea, 2016-02-10, Most companies had a business model based on hardware sales, and provided or bundled software with hardware, free of charge.{{Citation| last=Gates| first=Bill| title=An Open Letter to Hobbyists| date=February 3, 1976| url=}}By the late 1960s, the prevailing business model around software was changing. A growing and evolving software industry was competing with the hardware manufacturer's bundled software products; rather than funding software development from hardware revenue, these new companies were selling software directly. Leased machines required software support while providing no revenue for software, and some customers who were able to better meet their own needs did not want the costs of software bundled with hardware product costs. In United States vs. IBM, filed January 17, 1969, the government charged that bundled software was anticompetitive.{{sfn|Fisher|McKie|Mancke|1983}} While some software was still being provided without monetary cost and license restriction, there was a growing amount of software that was only at a monetary cost with restricted licensing. In the 1970s and early 1980s, some parts of the software industry began using technical measures (such as distributing only binary copies of computer programs) to prevent computer users from being able to use reverse engineering techniques to study and customize software they had paid for. In 1980, the copyright law was extended to computer programs in the United StatesComputer Software 1980 Copyright Act, Pub. L. No. 96-517, 94 Stat. 3015, 3028.—previously, computer programs could be considered ideas, procedures, methods, systems, and processes, which are not copyrightable.WEB,weblink Copyright Basics, {{sfn|Weber|2009}}Early on, closed-source software was uncommon until the mid-1970s to the 1980s, when IBM implemented in 1983 an "object code only" policy, no longer distributing source code.Object code only: is IBM playing fair? IBM's OCO policy protects its own assets but may threaten customers investment on Computerworld - 8 Febr. 1988Firm sidestep IBM policy by banning software changes on Computerworld (18 March 1985)WEB,weblink Computerworld, John, Gallant, 1985-03-18, 2015-12-27, IBM policy draws fire – Users say source code rules hamper change, While IBM's policy of withholding source code for selected software products has already marked its second anniversary, users are only now beginning to cope with the impact of that decision. But whether or not the advent of object-code-only products has affected their day-to-day DP operations, some users remain angry about IBM's decision. Announced in February 1983, IBM's object-code-only policy has been applied to a growing list of Big Blue system software products, In 1983, Richard Stallman, longtime member of the hacker community at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, announced the GNU project, saying that he had become frustrated with the effects of the change in culture of the computer industry and its users.{{sfn|William|2002}} Software development for the GNU operating system began in January 1984, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded in October 1985. An article outlining the project and its goals was published in March 1985 titled the GNU Manifesto. The manifesto included significant explanation of the GNU philosophy, Free Software Definition and "copyleft" ideas. The FSF takes the position that the fundamental issue Free software addresses is an ethical one—to ensure software users can exercise what it calls "The Four Essential Freedoms".The Linux kernel, created by Linus Torvalds, was released as freely modifiable source code in 1991. Initially, Linux was not released under either a Free software or an Open-source software license. However, with version 0.12 in February 1992, he relicensed the project under the GNU General Public License.WEB,weblink Release notes for Linux kernel 0.12,, FreeBSD and NetBSD (both derived from 386BSD) were released as Free software when the USL v. BSDi lawsuit was settled out of court in 1993. OpenBSD forked from NetBSD in 1995. Also in 1995, The Apache HTTP Server, commonly referred to as Apache, was released under the Apache License 1.0.In 1997, Eric Raymond published The Cathedral and the Bazaar, a reflective analysis of the hacker community and Free software principles. The paper received significant attention in early 1998, and was one factor in motivating Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as Free software. This code is today better known as Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.Netscape's act prompted Raymond and others to look into how to bring the FSF's Free software ideas and perceived benefits to the commercial software industry. They concluded that FSF's social activism was not appealing to companies like Netscape, and looked for a way to rebrand the Free software movement to emphasize the business potential of sharing and collaborating on software source code. The new name they chose was "Open-source", and quickly Bruce Perens, publisher Tim O'Reilly, Linus Torvalds, and others signed on to the rebranding. The Open Source Initiative was founded in February 1998 to encourage the use of the new term and evangelize open-source principles.WEB,weblink History of the OSI,, While the Open Source Initiative sought to encourage the use of the new term and evangelize the principles it adhered to, commercial software vendors found themselves increasingly threatened by the concept of freely distributed software and universal access to an application's source code. A Microsoft executive publicly stated in 2001 that "Open-source is an intellectual property destroyer. I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business."{{sfn|Charny|2001}} This view perfectly summarizes the initial response to FOSS by some software corporations.{{citation needed|date=November 2012}} For many years FOSS played a niche role outside of the mainstream of private software development. However the success of FOSS Operating Systems such as Linux, BSD and the companies based on FOSS such as Red Hat, has changed the software industry's attitude and there has been a dramatic shift in the corporate philosophy concerning the development of Free and Open-source software (FOSS).{{sfn|Miller|Voas|Costello|2010|pages=14–16}}


{{See also|Linux adoption|Free software#Adoption|Open-source software#Adoption}}

FOSS benefits over proprietary software

Personal control, customizability and freedom

{{See also|Vendor lock-in}}Users of FOSS benefit from the Four Essential Freedoms to make unrestricted use of, and to study, copy, modify, and redistribute such software with or without modification. If they would like to change the functionality of software they can bring about changes to the code and, if they wish, distribute such modified versions of the software or often − depending on the software's decision making model and its other users − even push or request such changes to be made via updates to the original software.BOOK,weblink Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives, Kirk, St Amant, 2007, Idea Group Inc (IGI), 9781591408925, en, 4 July 2017, BOOK,weblink Building the Information Society: IFIP 18th World Computer Congress Topical Sessions 22–27 August 2004 Toulouse, France, Jacquart, Rene, 2008, Springer, 9781402081576, en, 4 July 2017, BOOK,weblink Google and the Law: Empirical Approaches to Legal Aspects of Knowledge-Economy Business Models, Lopez-Tarruella, Aurelio, 2012, Springer Science & Business Media, 9789067048453, en, 4 July 2017, WEB,weblink What is free software?,, en, 4 July 2017,

Privacy and security

{{See also|Open-source software security|Surveillance capitalism|Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present)|Software update system}}Manufacturers of proprietary, closed-source software are sometimes pressured to building in backdoors or other covert, undesired features into their software.WEB, Microsoft Back Doors,weblink, 4 July 2017, en, WEB, Microsoft Accidentally Leaks Key to Windows Backdoor - Schneier on Security,weblink, 4 July 2017, WEB, Thomson, Iain, Snowden leak: Microsoft added backdoor for Feds,weblink 4 July 2017, BOOK, Strandburg, Katherine J., Raicu, Daniela Stan, Privacy and Technologies of Identity: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation, 2005, Springer Science & Business Media, 9780387260501,weblink 4 July 2017, en, Instead of having to trust software vendors, users of FOSS can inspect and verify the source code themselves and can put trust on a community of volunteers and users. As proprietary code is typically hidden from public view, only the vendors themselves and hackers may be aware of any vulnerabilities in them while FOSS involves as many people as possible for exposing bugs quickly.WEB, Open source software is more secure than you think,weblink SC Media US, 12 July 2017, en, 8 October 2013,

Low costs or no costs

FOSS is often free of charge although donations are often encouraged. This also allows users to better test and compare software.

Quality, collaboration and efficiency

{{See also|#Bugs and missing features}}FOSS allows for better collaboration among various parties and individuals with the goal of developing the most efficient software for its users or use-cases while proprietary software is typically meant to generate profits. Furthermore, in many cases more organizations and individuals contribute to such projects than to proprietary software. It has been shown that technical superiority is typically the primary reason why companies choose open source software.

Drawbacks compared to proprietary software

Security and user-support

{{See also|Common good|Public participation|Proactive cyber defence#Measures}}According to Linus's Law the more people who can see and test a set of code, the more likely any flaws will be caught and fixed quickly. However, this does not guarantee a high level of participation. Having a grouping of full-time professionals behind a commercial product can in some cases be superior to FOSS.MAGAZINE, 10 Reasons Open Source Is Good for Business,weblink PCWorld, 4 July 2017, en, 2010-11-05, JOURNAL, Is Open Source Software More Secure?,weblink 4 July 2017, Furthermore, publicized source code might make it easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities in it and write exploits. This however assumes that such malicious hackers are more effective than white hat hackers which responsibly disclose or help fix the vulnerabilities, that no code leaks or exfiltrations occur and that reverse engineering of proprietary code is a hindrance of significance for malicious hackers.

Hardware and software compatibility

{{Further|Software incompatibility|System requirements}}Sometimes, FOSS is not compatible with proprietary hardware or specific software. This is often due to manufacturers obstructing FOSS such as by not disclosing the interfaces or other specifications needed for members of the FOSS movement to write drivers for their hardware − for instance as they wish customers to run only their own proprietary software or as they might benefit from partnerships.BOOK, Fogel, Karl, Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project, 2005, "O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 9780596552992,weblink 4 July 2017, en, BOOK, Sery, Paul G., Ubuntu Linux For Dummies, 2007, John Wiley & Sons, 9780470125052,weblink 4 July 2017, en, WEB, Linux Today - KERNEL-DEV: UDI and Free Software by Richard Stallman,weblink, 4 July 2017, NEWS, Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J., Microsoft tries to block Linux off Windows 8 PCs {{!, ZDNet|url=|work=ZDNet|accessdate=12 July 2017|language=en}}WEB, Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian, Lenovo reportedly blocking Linux on Windows 10 Signature Edition PCs (updated) {{!, ZDNet|url=|website=ZDNet|accessdate=12 July 2017|language=en}}WEB, Linux Today - How Microsoft Changes the Prices at OEMs to Block GNU/Linux Sales,weblink, 12 July 2017, WEB, Microsoft 'killed Dell Linux' – States,weblink 12 July 2017, {{additional citation needed|date=July 2017}}

Bugs and missing features

{{See also|#Quality, collaboration and efficiency}}While FOSS can be superior to proprietary equivalents in terms of software features and stability, in many cases FOSS has more unfixed bugs and missing features when compared to similar commercial software.WEB, Hill, Benjamin Mako, When Free Software Isn't (Practically) Superior,weblink 11 July 2017, {{Additional citation needed|date=July 2017}} This varies per case and usually depends on the level of interest and participation in a FOSS project. Furthermore, unlike with typical commercial software missing features and bugfixes can be implemented by any party that has the relevant motivation, time and skill to do so.NEWS, Too Big to Fail Open-Source Software Needs Hacker Help,weblink Observer, 12 July 2017, 4 November 2016, {{Additional citation needed|date=July 2017}}

Less guarantees of development

There is often less certainty in FOSS projects gaining the required resources / participation for continued development than commercial software backed by companies.BOOK, Arthur, Tatnall, Encyclopedia of Portal Technologies and Applications, 2007, Idea Group Inc (IGI), 9781591409908,weblink 11 July 2017, en, {{Additional citation needed|date=July 2017}} However companies also often abolish projects for being unprofitable and often large companies rely on and hence co-develop open source software.

Missing applications

As the FOSS operating system distributions of Linux has a lower market share of end users there are also fewer applications available.BOOK, Baldauf, Kenneth, Stair, Ralph, Succeeding with Technology, 2008, Cengage Learning, 978-1423925293,weblink 12 July 2017, en, BOOK, Mastering Information Technology for CXC CSEC CAPE, Dennis Adonis,weblink 12 July 2017, en,

Adoption by governments

{{See also|Sovereignty|National security|Cyber emergency response team|Global public good}}{{Expand list|date=July 2017}}{| class="wikitable"!Country!Description
Brazil}}Federal government of Brazil>Brazilian government has simultaneously encouraged the distribution of cheap computers running Linux throughout its poorer communities by subsidizing their purchase with tax breaks.{{sfnRyan|2006}}
Ecuador}}LAST=DATE=PUBLISHER=, Ecuador passed a similar law, Decree 1014, designed to migrate the public sector to Libre Software.{{es icon}}, Decree 1014
France}}National Gendarmerie>French Gendarmerie Nationale announced it will totally switch to Ubuntu (operating system) by 2015. The Gendarmerie began its transition to open source software in 2005 when it replaced Microsoft Office with across the entire organization.{{sfn>Paulweblink PM Bulletin (Circular letter) #5608-SG of September 19th, 2012 These recommendations are published in a document based on the works of an inter-ministerial group of experts.weblink Use of the open-source software in the administration This document stops some orientations like establishing an actual convergence on open-source stubs, activating a network of expertise about converging stubs, improving the support of open-source software, contributing to selected stubs, following the big communities, spreading alternatives to the main commercial solutions, tracing the use of open-source and its effects, developing the culture of use of the open-source licenses in the developments of public information systems. One of the aim of this experts groups is also to establish lists of recommended open-source software to use in the French public administration.weblink {{Webarchive>url= |date=2017-08-27 }} Interministerial base of open-source applications
Germany}}City of Munich, conversion of 15,000 PCs and laptops from Microsoft Windows-based operating systems to a Debian-based Linux environment called LiMux spanned the ten years of 2003 to 2013. After successful completion of the project, more than 80% of all computers were running Linux.HTTP://WWW.MUENCHEN.DE/RATHAUS/STADTVERWALTUNG/DIREKTORIUM/LIMUX/ZAHLEN_FAKTEN/PROJEKTSTATUS.HTMLDEAD-URL=YESTITLE=LANDESHAUPTSTADT MüNCHEN - AKTUELLE ZAHLENPUBLISHER=MUENCHEN.DEACCESSDATE=2014-07-28, {{dead linkbot=InternetArchiveBot ACCESS-DATE=2017-12-04, en,
India}}Kerala, India, announced its official support for FOSS software in its State IT Policy of 2001,HTTP://UNPAN1.UN.ORG/INTRADOC/GROUPS/PUBLIC/DOCUMENTS/APCITY/UNPAN002950.PDFState IT Policy of 2001}} which was formulated after the first-ever Free software conference in India, Freedom First!, held in July 2001 in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. In 2009, Government of Kerala started the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS)weblink{{dead linkbot=InternetArchiveBot AlawadhiDEAD-URL=YESTITLE=POLICY ON ADOPTION OF OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE FOR GOVERNMENT OF INDIA,
Italy}}OpenDocument>Open Document Format (ODF). The Ministry of Defence will over the next year-and-a-half install this suite of office productivity tools on some 150,000 PC workstations - making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation. The switch was announced on September 15, 2015, by the LibreItalia Association.HTTPS://JOINUP.EC.EUROPA.EU/NEWS/ITALIAN-MILITARY-SWITCH>TITLE=ITALIAN MILITARY TO SWITCH TO LIBREOFFICE AND ODF, By June 23, 2016, 6 thousand stations have been migrated.HTTP://WWW.LIBREITALIA.IT/UN-ANNO-DI-LIBREDIFESA/>TITLE=UN ANNO DI LIBREDIFESAFIRST=WORK=LIBREITALIAARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20171009204003/HTTP://WWW.LIBREITALIA.IT/UN-ANNO-DI-LIBREDIFESA/LANGUAGE=IT-IT, E-learning military platform.HTTPS://EL-STELMILIT.DIFESA.IT/COURSE/INDEX.PHP?CATEGORYID=55>TITLE=DIFEL: LIBREDIFESALANGUAGE=ENARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20171009194140/HTTPS://EL-STELMILIT.DIFESA.IT/COURSE/INDEX.PHP?CATEGORYID=55DEAD-URL=YES,
Jordan}}Government of Jordan announced a partnership with Ingres Corporation (now named Actian), an open source database management company based in the United States, to promote open-source software use, starting with university systems in Jordan.HTTP://WWW.ITP.NET/578825-JORDAN-INFORMATION-MINISTRY-SIGNS-DEAL-ON-OPEN-SOURCEWORK=ITP.NET, 2012-04-23,
Malaysia}}Malaysia launched the "Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Program", saving millions on proprietary software licenses until 2008.HTTP://WWW.OSCC.ORG.MY/ACCESSDATE=23 OCTOBER 2011ARCHIVE-DATE=2011-10-27DF=, HTTP://KNOWLEDGE.OSCC.ORG.MY/NEWSLETTERS/FIRST-QUARTERLY-E-NEWSLETTER-JAN-2009>TITLE=OSCC.ORGARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20111005081918/HTTP://KNOWLEDGE.OSCC.ORG.MY/NEWSLETTERS/FIRST-QUARTERLY-E-NEWSLETTER-JAN-2009DEAD-URL=YES,
Peru}}Government of Peru voted to adopt open source across all its bodies.{{sfn>Clarkedemocracy were safeguarded: "The basic principles which inspire the Bill are linked to the basic guarantees of a state of law."HTTP://WWW.PRODEFINITY.DE/DOCS/FLOSS_V2_6_9.PDFLAST=NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL ON INNOVATION OPEN SOFTWARE WORKING GROUPACCESSDATE=31 MAY 2008ARCHIVEDATE=DECEMBER 22, 2014,
Uganda}}Uganda National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) announced a call for feedback on an Open Source Strategy & Policy"Open Source Strategy & Policy" {{webarchive>url= |date=2014-09-27 }} at a workshop in conjunction with the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU).
{{Flag|United States}}United States White House moved its website to Linux servers using Drupal for content management.{{sfn>Vaughan-NicholsFederal government of the United States>United States government announced a new federal source code policy which mandates that at least 20% of custom source code developed by or for any agency of the federal government be released as open-source software (OSS).HTTPS://WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/OMB/MEMORANDA/2016/M_16_21.PDF>TITLE=FEDERAL SOURCE CODE POLICY: ACHIEVING EFFICIENCY, TRANSPARENCY, AND INNOVATION THROUGH REUSABLE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE — MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES — M-16-21FIRST2=ANNE EPUBLISHER=OFFICE OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTACCESS-DATE=2016-09-14LAST1=SCOTTARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20160920231938/HTTPS://WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/OMB/MEMORANDA/2016/M_16_21.PDFDF=, Also available as HTML at: {{urlweblink}}
In addition, the policy requires that all source code be shared between agencies. The public release is under a three-year pilot program and agencies are obliged to collect data on this pilot to gauge its performance. The overall policy aims to reduce duplication, avoid vendor 'lock-in', and stimulate collaborative development. A new website {{url|}} provides "an online collection of tools, best practices, and schemas to help agencies implement this policy", the policy announcement stated. It also provides the "primary discoverability portal for custom-developed software intended both for Government-wide reuse and for release as OSS". As yet unspecified OSS licenses will be added to the code.WEB,weblink New US Government Source Code Policy Could Provide Model For Europe, New, William, 22 August 2016, Intellectual Property Watch, Geneva, Switzerland, 2016-09-14,
Venezuela}}Venezuela (Decree 3390) went into effect, mandating a two-year transition to open source in all public agencies. {{As of>June 2009}}, the transition was still under way.{{es icon}} Venezuela Open Source {{webarchiveweblink>date=February 16, 2008}}HTTP://WWW.TSJ.GOV.VE/GACETA/DICIEMBRE/281204/281204-38095-08.HTML>TITLE=PUBLICADO EN LA GACETA OFICIAL NO 38.095 DE FECHA 28/ 12/ 2004FIRST=HUGO F.DATE=DECEMBER 2004DEADURL=YESARCHIVEDATE=9 AUGUST 2011date=October 2017}}

Adoption by supranational unions and international organizations

{{sfn|Bridgewater|2013}} }}In 2017, the European Commission stated that "EU institutions should become open source software users themselves, even more than they already are" and listed open source software as one of the nine key drivers of innovation, together with big data, mobility, cloud computing and the internet of things.PUBLICATION,weblink The economic and social impact of software & services on competitiveness and innovation, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, 2017, 978-92-79-66177-8,


{{See also|Open-source software development}}{{Empty section|date=July 2017}}

Issues and incidents

GPLv3 controversy

{{Context|section|date=February 2017}}While copyright is the primary legal mechanism that FOSS authors use to ensure license compliance for their software, other mechanisms such as legislation, patents, and trademarks have implications as well. In response to legal issues with patents and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Free Software Foundation released version 3 of its GNU Public License in 2007 that explicitly addressed the DMCA and patent rights.After the development of the GNU GPLv3 in 2007, the FSF (as the copyright holder of many pieces of the GNU system) updated many{{citation needed|date=November 2012}} of the GNU programs' licenses from GPLv2 to GPLv3. On the other hand, the adoption of the new GPL version was heavily discussed in the FOSS ecosystem,WEB,weblink The Curse of Open Source License Proliferation, Mark, 2008-05-08, 2015-11-30,, Currently the decision to move from GPL v2 to GPL v3 is being hotly debated by many open source projects. According to Palamida, a provider of IP compliance software, there have been roughly 2489 open source projects that have moved from GPL v2 to later versions.,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-12-08, yes, several projects decided against upgrading. For instance the linux kernel,WEB,weblink Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel is concerned is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not v2.2 or v3.x or whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated., 13 August 2013,, Linus, Torvalds, COPYING, WEB,weblink Torvalds Still Keen On GPLv2, "In some ways, Linux was the project that really made the split clear between what the FSF is pushing which is very different from what open source and Linux has always been about, which is more of a technical superiority instead of a -- this religious belief in freedom," Torvalds told Zemlin. So, the GPL Version 3 reflects the FSF's goals and the GPL Version 2 pretty closely matches what I think a license should do and so right now, Version 2 is where the kernel is.", 2008-01-08, Sean Michael, Kerner,, 2015-02-12, the BusyBoxWEB,weblink Busy busy busybox, 2006-10-01, corbet,, Since BusyBox can be found in so many embedded systems, it finds itself at the core of the GPLv3 anti-DRM debate. [...]The real outcomes, however, are this: BusyBox will be GPLv2 only starting with the next release. It is generally accepted that stripping out the "or any later version" is legally defensible, and that the merging of other GPLv2-only code will force that issue in any case, 2015-11-21, WEB,weblink Rob, Landley, Re: Move GPLv2 vs v3 fun..., 2006-09-09,, 2015-11-21, Don't invent a straw man argument please. I consider licensing BusyBox under GPLv3 to be useless, unnecessary, overcomplicated, and confusing, and in addition to that it has actual downsides. 1) Useless: We're never dropping GPLv2., project, AdvFS,Press release concerning the release of the AdvFS source code Blender,WEB,weblink What's up with DWG adoption in free software?, Prokoudine, Alexandre, 26 January 2012, 2015-12-05,, [Blender's Toni Roosendaal:] "Blender is also still "GPLv2 or later". For the time being we stick to that, moving to GPL 3 has no evident benefits I know of.", yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-11-09, and the VLC media player decided against adopting the GPLv3.WEB,weblink VLC media player to remain under GNU GPL version 2, ''In 2001, VLC was released under the OSI-approved GNU General Public version 2, with the commonly-offered option to use "any later version" thereof (though there was not any such later version at the time). Following the release by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) of the new version 3 of its GNU General Public License (GPL) on the 29th of June 2007, contributors to the VLC media player, and other software projects hosted at, debated the possibility of updating the licensing terms for future version of the VLC media player and other hosted projects, to version 3 of the GPL. [...] There is strong concern that these new additional requirements might not match the industrial and economic reality of our time, especially in the market of consumer electronics. It is our belief that changing our licensing terms to GPL version 3 would currently not be in the best interest of our community as a whole. Consequently, we plan to keep distributing future versions of VLC media player under the terms of the GPL version 2.,, 2015-11-21, Rémi, Denis-Courmont, Apple, a user of GCC and a heavy user of both DRM and patents, switched the compiler in its Xcode IDE from GCC to Clang, which is another FOSS compiler{{sfn|Brockmeier|2010}} but is under a permissive license.WEB,weblink LLVM Developer Policy, LLVM, November 19, 2012, LWN speculated that Apple was motivated partly by a desire to avoid GPLv3.{{sfn|Brockmeier|2010}} The Samba project also switched to GPLv3, so Apple replaced Samba in their software suite by a closed-source, proprietary software alternative.{{sfn|Holwerda|2011}}

Skewed prioritization, ineffectiveness and egoism of developers

{{See also|Issue tracking system}}Leemhuis criticizes the prioritization of skilled developers who − instead of fixing issues in popular applications and desktop environments − create new, mostly redundant software to gain fame and fortune.WEB, Leemhuis, Thorsten, Kommentar: Linux scheitert an Egozentrik,weblink heise online, 12 July 2017, de-DE, He also criticizes notebook manufacturers for optimizing their own products only privately or creating workarounds instead of helping fix the actual causes of the many issues with Linux on notebooks such as the unnecessary power consumption.

Commercial ownership of open-source software

Mergers have affected major open-source software. Sun Microsystems (Sun) acquired MySQL AB, owner of the popular open-source MySQL database, in 2008.WEB, Sun to Acquire MySQL, MySQL AB,weblink 2008-01-16, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-07-18, Oracle in turn purchased Sun in January, 2010, acquiring their copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Thus, Oracle became the owner of both the most popular proprietary database and the most popular open-source database. Oracle's attempts to commercialize the open-source MySQL database have raised concerns in the FOSS community.{{sfn|Thomson|2011}} Partly in response to uncertainty about the future of MySQL, the FOSS community forked the project into new database systems outside of Oracle's control. These include MariaDB, Percona, and Drizzle.{{sfn|Samson|2011}} All of these have distinct names; they are distinct projects and cannot use the trademarked name MySQL.{{sfn|Nelson|2009}}

Legal cases

Oracle v. Google

In August, 2010, Oracle sued Google, claiming that its use of Java in Android infringed on Oracle's copyrights and patents. The Oracle v. Google case ended in May 2012, with the finding that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents, and the trial judge ruled that the structure of the Java APIs used by Google was not copyrightable. The jury found that Google infringed a small number of copied files, but the parties stipulated that Google would pay no damages.{{sfn|Niccolai|2012}} Oracle appealed to the Federal Circuit, and Google filed a cross-appeal on the literal copying claim.{{sfn|Jones|2012}}

As part/driver of a new socio-economic model

{{See also|Commons-based peer production|Open content|Sharing economy|Post-scarcity economy}}By defying ownership regulations in the construction and use of information − a key area of contemporary growth − the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) movement counters neoliberalism and privatization in general.JOURNAL, Georgopoulou, Panayiota, The free/open source software movement Resistance or change?, Civitas - Revista de Ciências Sociais, 2009, 9, 1,weblink 11 July 2017, 1519-6089, By realizing the historical potential of an "economy of abundance" for the new digital world FOSS may lay down a plan for political resistance or show the way towards a potential transformation of capitalism.According to Yochai Benkler, Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, free software is the most visible part of a new economy of commons-based peer production of information, knowledge, and culture. As examples, he cites a variety of FOSS projects, including both free software and open-source.{{sfn|Benkler|2003}}

See also

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  • NEWS, Alawadhi, Neha,weblink Government announces policy on open source software, The Times of India, March 30, 2015, 2015-06-27, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Benkler, Yochai, Freedom in the Commons: Towards a Political Economy of Information, Duke Law Journal, April 2003, 52, 6,weblink harv,
  • NEWS, Bridgewater, Adrian, International Space Station adopts Debian Linux, drops Windows & Red Hat into airlock, Computer Weekly, May 13, 2013,weblink 2015-06-27, harv,
  • NEWS, Brockmeier, Joe, Apple's Selective Contributions to GCC,, September 15, 2010,weblink 2015-06-22, harv,
  • BOOK, Casson, Tony, Ryan, Patrick S., 1656616, Open Standards, Open Source Adoption in the Public Sector, and Their Relationship to Microsoft's Market Dominance, Standards Edge: Unifier or Divider?, Bolin, Sherrie, May 1, 2006, 87, Sheridan Books, 978-0974864853, harv,
  • NEWS, Charny, B., Microsoft Raps Open-Source Approach, CNET News, May 3, 2001,weblink harv,
  • NEWS, Claburn, Thomas,weblink Study Finds Open Source Benefits Business, 2007-11-25, January 17, 2007, InformationWeek, CMP Media, LLC,weblink 2007-11-25, harv, yes,
  • NEWS, Clarke, Gavin,weblink Peru's parliament approves pro-open source bill, The Register, September 29, 2005, 2015-06-27, harv,
  • NEWS, ElBoghdady, Dina, Tsukayama, Hayley, Facebook tracking prompts calls for FTC investigation,weblink The Washington Post, September 29, 2011, 2015-06-27, harv,
  • BOOK, Feller, Joseph (ed.), 2005, Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software, MIT Press, 978-0262062466, harv,
  • BOOK, Fisher, Franklin M., McKie, James W., Mancke, Richard B., IBM and the U.S. Data Processing Industry: An Economic History, Praeger, 1983, 978-0-03-063059-0, harv,
  • NEWS, Gunter, Joel, International Space Station to boldly go with Linux over Windows, The Telegraph, May 10, 2013,weblink 2015-06-27, harv,
  • NEWS, Hatlestad, Luc,weblink LinuxWorld Showcases Open-Source Growth, Expansion, 2007-11-25, August 9, 2005, InformationWeek, CMP Media, LLC,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-12-02, harv, yes,
  • NEWS, Holwerda, Thom, Apple Ditches SAMBA in Favour of Homegrown Replacement, OS News, March 26, 2011,weblink 2015-06-22, harv,
  • WEB, Jones, Pamela,weblink Oracle and Google File Appeals, Groklaw, October 5, 2012, 2015-06-22, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Miller, K. W., Voas, J., Costello, T., 2010, Free and open source software, IT Professional, 12, 6, 14–16, 10.1109/MITP.2010.147, harv,
  • WEB, Nelson, Russell, Open Source, MySQL, and trademarks,, December 13, 2009, Open Source Initiative,weblink 2015-06-22, harv,
  • NEWS, Niccolai, James, Oracle agrees to 'zero' damages in Google lawsuit, eyes appeal, Computerworld, June 20, 2012,weblink 2015-06-22, harv,
  • NEWS, Paul, Ryan,weblink French police: we saved millions of euros by adopting Ubuntu, Ars Technica, March 11, 2009, 2015-06-27, harv,
  • BOOK, Perens, Bruce, The Open Source Definition,weblink Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, O'Reilly Media, 1999, 978-1-56592-582-3, harv,weblink
  • NEWS, Samson, Ted, Non-Oracle MySQL fork deemed ready for prime time,weblink InfoWorld, March 17, 2011, 2015-06-22, harv,
  • WEB, Stallman, Richard, Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software,weblink, Free Software Foundation, n.d., 2015-06-27, harv,
  • NEWS, Thomson, Iain, Oracle offers commercial extensions to MySQL, The Register, September 16, 2011,weblink 2015-06-22, harv,
  • NEWS, Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J.,weblink Obama Invites Open Source into the White House, PCWorld, October 29, 2009, 2015-06-27, harv,
  • NEWS, Vaughan-Nichols, Steven, No GPL Apps for Apple's App Store,weblink ZDNet, January 8, 2011, 2015-06-27, harv,
  • BOOK, Weber, Steve, The Success of Open Source, Harvard University Press, 2009, 4, 9780674044999, harv,
  • BOOK, William, Sam, 2002, Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software, O'Reilly Media, 978-0596002879, harv,weblink

Further reading

  • WEB,weblink Why "Free Software" is better than "Open Source", 2007-11-25, Barr, Joe, 1998, Free Software Foundation,weblink 2007-11-25, yes,
  • WEB, Salus, Peter H., A History of Free and Open Source,weblink Groklaw, March 28, 2005, 2015-06-22,
  • JOURNAL, Vetter, G., 2009, Commercial Free and Open Source Software: Knowledge Production, Hybrid Appropriability, and Patents, Fordham Law Review, 77, 5, 2087–2141,weblink
  • WEB, Wheeler, David A., Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS)? Look at the Numbers!,, May 8, 2014,weblink 2015-06-22,
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