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Free and open-source software (FOSS) is
software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Computer program, a collection of instructions Music * I ...

software
that is both
free software Free software (or libre 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 ...

free software
and
open-source software Open-source software (OSS) is computer software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Co ...
where anyone is
freely licensed Free content, libre content, or free information is any kind of functional work, work of art, or other creative Content (media and publishing), content that meets the definition of a Definition of Free Cultural Works, free cultural work. De ...
to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the
source code In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and ...

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 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 rights from licenses to use, modify, share modifications, or share the softwa ...
, where the software is under restrictive
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
licensing A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...

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 Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its El ...
and stability (especially in regard to
malware Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause disruption to a computer, server (computing), server, Client (computing), client, or computer network, leak private information, gain unauthorized acc ...

malware
), protecting
privacy Privacy (, ) is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special ...

privacy
, education, and giving users more control over their own hardware. Free and open-source operating systems such as
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of open-source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product ...

Linux
and descendants of
BSD The Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is a discontinued operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include ope ...

BSD
are widely utilized today, powering millions of servers,
desktops A desktop traditionally refers to: * The surface of a desk (often to distinguish office appliances that fit on a desk, such as photocopiers and printers, from larger equipment covering its own area on the floor) Desktop may refer to various comput ...
, smartphones (e.g.,
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
), and other devices.
Free-software license A free-software license is a notice that grants the recipient of a piece of software extensive rights to modify and redistribute that software. These actions are usually prohibited by copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual pro ...
s and
open-source license An open-source license is a type of license A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the Eng ...
s are used by many software packages. The
free-software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting po ...
and the
open-source software movement The open-source-software movement is a movement that supports the use of open-source licenses An open-source license is a type of license A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called U ...
are
online social movementOnline social movements are organised efforts to push for a particular goal through the use of new communications and information technologies, such as the Internet. In many cases, these movements seek to counter the mainstream public, claiming there ...
s behind widespread production and adoption of FOSS, with the former preferring to use the terms FLOSS or free/libre.


Overview

"Free and open-source software" (FOSS) is an umbrella term for software that is simultaneously considered both
free software Free software (or libre 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 ...

free software
and
open-source software Open-source software (OSS) is computer software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Co ...
. 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 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 rights from licenses to use, modify, share modifications, or share the softwa ...
. 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 is preferred by FSF over FOSS, while free or free/libre is their preferred term). 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.


Free software

Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of peo ...

Richard Stallman
's
Free Software Definition The Free Software Definition written by Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social move ...
, adopted by the
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
(FSF), defines
free software Free software (or libre 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 ...

free software
as a matter of liberty not price, and it upholds the Four Essential Freedoms. The earliest-known publication of the definition of his free-software idea was in the February 1986 edition 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 The GNU Project () is a free software Free software (or libre 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 versi ...
website. As of August 2017, it is published in 40 languages.


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". * 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 Definition ''The Open Source Definition'' is a document published by the Open Source Initiative The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the steward of the Open Source definition, Open Source Definition, the set of rules that define Open Source Software, open ...
'' is used by the
Open Source Initiative The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the steward of the Open Source Definition ''The Open Source Definition'' is a document published by the Open Source Initiative, to determine whether a software license can be labeled with the Open-source soft ...
(OSI) to determine whether a
software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Computer program, a collection of instructions Music * I ...

software
license qualifies for the organization's insignia for
open-source software Open-source software (OSS) is computer software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Co ...
. The definition was based on the
Debian Free Software Guidelines The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) is a set of guidelines that the Debian Debian (), also known as Debian GNU/Linux, is a GNU/Linux distribution composed of free and open-source software, developed by the community-supported Debian Proj ...
, written and adapted primarily by
Bruce Perens Bruce Perens (born around 1958) is an American computer programmer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal contexts), is a person who creates computer ...
. Perens did not base his writing on the Four Essential Freedoms of free software from the
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
, which were only later available on the web. 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. In the following 2000s, he spoke about open source again.


History

From the 1950s and on 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 Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Computer program, a collection of instructions Music * I ...

Software
, including source code, was commonly shared by individuals who used computers, often as
public domain software Public-domain software is software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Computer program, a ...
(Note that FOSS is not the same as public domain software, as public domain software does not contain copyrights). Most companies had a business model based on
hardware Hardware may refer to: Technology Computing and electronics * Computer hardware, physical parts of a computer * Digital electronics, electronics that operate on digital signals * Electronic component, device in an electronic system used to affect e ...

hardware
sales, and provided or
bundled software In marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; ...
with hardware, free of charge. 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 International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

IBM
'', filed January 17, 1969, the government charged that bundled software was anticompetitive. 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 The software industry includes businesses for development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and bu ...
began using technical measures (such as distributing only binary copies of
computer programs In imperative programming, a computer program is a sequence of instructions in a programming language that a computer can execute or interpret. In declarative programming, a ''computer program'' is a Set (mathematics), set of instructions. A comp ...
) to prevent computer users from being able to use
reverse engineering Reverse engineering (also known as backwards engineering or back engineering) is a process or method through the application of which one attempts to understand through deductive reasoning Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process ...

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 States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
—previously, computer programs could be considered ideas, procedures, methods, systems, and processes, which are not copyrightable. Early on,
closed-source 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 rights from licenses to use, modify, share modifications, or share the softwa ...
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. In 1983,
Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of peo ...

Richard Stallman
, longtime member of the
hacker A hacker is a person skilled in information technology who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term ''hacker'' has become associated in popul ...
community at the
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is a research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research Research is "creative and systematic ...
, announced the
GNU project The GNU Project () is a free software Free software (or libre 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 versi ...
, saying that he had become frustrated with the effects of the change in culture of the computer industry and its users. Software development for the
GNU operating system GNU () is an extensive collection of free software Free software (or libre 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 ...
began in January 1984, and the
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
(FSF) was founded in October 1985. An article outlining the project and its goals was published in March 1985 titled the ''
GNU Manifesto __NOTOC__ 235px, Richard M. Stallman (cover picture for Free as in Freedom'')">Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software">Free as in Freedom'') The ''GNU Manifesto'' is a call-to-action by Richard Stallman Richard Mat ...
''. The manifesto included significant explanation of the GNU philosophy, ''
Free Software Definition The Free Software Definition written by Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social move ...
'' and "
copyleft Copyleft is the practice of granting the right to freely distribute and modify intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things ...

copyleft
" ideas. The FSF takes the position that the fundamental issue
Free software Free software (or libre 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 ...

Free software
addresses is an ethical one—to ensure software users can exercise what it calls " The Four Essential Freedoms". The
Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the softwar ...
, created by
Linus Torvalds Linus Benedict Torvalds ( , ; born 28 December 1969) is a Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the main developer of the Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source soft ...
, 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 The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely used free software license A free-software license is a notice that grants the recipient of a piece of software extensive rights to modify and software distribu ...
.
FreeBSD FreeBSD is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any ...

FreeBSD
and
NetBSD NetBSD is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any ...

NetBSD
(both derived from
386BSD 386BSD (also known as "Jolix") is a discontinued Unix-like A Unix-like (sometimes referred to as UN*X or *nix) operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for ot ...
) were released as Free software when the ''USL v. BSDi'' lawsuit was settled out of court in 1993.
OpenBSD OpenBSD is a security-focused operating system, security-focused, free and open-source, Unix-like operating system based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Theo de Raadt created OpenBSD in 1995 by fork (software development), forking N ...
forked from NetBSD in 1995. Also in 1995, The
Apache HTTP Server The Apache HTTP Server, colloquially called Apache ( ), is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to ...
, 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 Netscape Communications Corporation (originally Mosaic Communications Corporation) was an American independent computer services company with headquarters in Mountain View, California Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, Californi ...
to release their popular
Netscape Communicator Netscape Communicator (or ''Netscape 4'') is a discontinued Internet suite produced by Netscape Communications Corporation Netscape Communications Corporation (originally Mosaic Communications Corporation) was an American independent comput ...
Internet suite as
Free software Free software (or libre 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 ...

Free software
. This code is today better known as
Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox or simply Firefox is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, ...

Mozilla Firefox
and
Thunderbird Thunderbird or Thunderbirds may refer to: * Thunderbird (mythology), a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples' history and culture Arts, entertainment and media Fictional characters * Thunderbird (John Proudstar), a Marvel ...
. 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 Bruce Perens (born around 1958) is an American computer programmer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal contexts), is a person who creates computer ...
, publisher
Tim O'Reilly Tim O'Reilly (born 6 June 1954) is the founder of O'Reilly Media O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) is an American learning company established by Tim O'Reilly Tim O'Reilly (born 6 June 1954) is the founder of O'Reilly Med ...

Tim O'Reilly
,
Linus Torvalds Linus Benedict Torvalds ( , ; born 28 December 1969) is a Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the main developer of the Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source soft ...
, and others signed on to the rebranding. The
Open Source Initiative The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the steward of the Open Source Definition ''The Open Source Definition'' is a document published by the Open Source Initiative, to determine whether a software license can be labeled with the Open-source soft ...
was founded in February 1998 to encourage the use of the new term and evangelize open-source principles. 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 In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and ...

source code
. A
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

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." This view perfectly summarizes the initial response to FOSS by some software corporations. 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 Red Hat, Inc. is an American IBM subsidiary software company A software company is a company whose primary products are various forms of software, software technology, distribution, and software product development. They make up the softwar ...
, 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).


Usage


FOSS benefits over proprietary software


Personal control, customizability and freedom

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.


Privacy and security

Manufacturers of proprietary, closed-source software are sometimes pressured to building in backdoors or other covert, undesired features into their software. 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 Vulnerability refers to the inability (of a system or a unit) to withstand the effects of a hostile environment. A window of vulnerability (WOV) is a time frame within which defensive measures are diminished, compromised or lacking. The understan ...
in them while FOSS involves as many people as possible for exposing bugs quickly.


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

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

According to
Linus's law In software development, Linus's law is the assertion that "given enough eyeballs, all software bug, bugs are shallow". The law was formulated by Eric S. Raymond in his essay and book ''The Cathedral and the Bazaar'' (1999), and was named in honor ...
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. 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 Reverse engineering (also known as backwards engineering or back engineering) is a process or method through the application of which one attempts to understand through deductive reasoning Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process ...

reverse engineering
of proprietary code is a hindrance of significance for malicious hackers.


Hardware and software compatibility

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 Interface or interfacing may refer to: Academic journals * Interface (journal), ''Interface'' (journal), by the Electrochemical Society * ''Interface, Journal of Applied Linguistics'', now merged with ''ITL International Journal of Applied Lin ...
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.


Bugs and missing features

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. 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.


Less guarantee of development

There is often less certainty of FOSS projects gaining the required resources and participation for continued development than commercial software backed by companies. However, companies also often abolish projects for being unprofitable, yet large companies may rely on, and hence co-develop, open source software.


Missing applications

As the FOSS operating system distributions of
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of open-source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product ...

Linux
has a lower
market share Market share is the percentage of the total revenue or sales in a market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by Finland and Swe ...
of end users there are also fewer applications available.


Adoption by governments


Adoption by supranational unions and international organizations

In 2017, the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

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 Big data is a field that treats ways to analyze, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data set A data set (or dataset) is a collection of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of informati ...

big data
, mobility,
cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...

cloud computing
and the
internet of things The Internet of things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—"things" or objects—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over ...

internet of things
.


Production


Issues and incidents


GPLv3 controversy

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 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...
(DMCA), the Free Software Foundation released version 3 of its GNU Public License (GNU GPLv3) 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 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, several projects decided against upgrading. For instance the
Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the softwar ...
, the
BusyBox BusyBox is a software suite A software suite (Also known as an application suite) is a collection of computer programs (application software, or Programming tool, programming software) of related functionality, sharing a similar user interface ...
project,
AdvFS AdvFS, also known as Tru64 UNIX Advanced File System, is a file system In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmi ...
,
Blender A blender (sometimes called a mixer or liquidiser in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone subs ...
, and the
VLC media player VLC media player (previously the VideoLAN Client and commonly known as simply VLC) is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refe ...
decided against adopting the GPLv3.
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
, a user of GCC and a heavy user of both
DRM DRM may refer to: Government, military and politics * Defense reform movement, U.S. campaign inspired by Col. John Boyd * Democratic Republic of Madagascar, a former socialist state (1975–1992) on Madagascar * Direction du renseignement militaire ...
and patents, switched the compiler in its
Xcode Xcode is Apple's integrated development environment#REDIRECT Integrated development environment {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ... (IDE) for macOS macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later OS  ...
IDE from GCC to
Clang Clang is a compiler front end In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both com ...
, which is another FOSS compiler but is under a
permissive license A permissive software license, sometimes also called BSD-like or BSD-style license, is a free-software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and ...
. LWN speculated that Apple was motivated partly by a desire to avoid GPLv3. The
Samba Samba (), also known as samba urbano carioca (''urban Carioca samba'') or simply samba carioca (''Carioca samba'') is a Brazilian music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the ...
project also switched to GPLv3, so Apple replaced
Samba Samba (), also known as samba urbano carioca (''urban Carioca samba'') or simply samba carioca (''Carioca samba'') is a Brazilian music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the ...
in their software suite by a closed-source, proprietary software alternative.


Skewed prioritization, ineffectiveness and egoism of developers

Leemhuis criticizes the
prioritization Prioritization is the activity that arranges items or activities in order of importance relative to each other. In the context of medical evaluation it is the establishment of the importance or the urgency of actions that are necessary to prese ...
of skilled developers who − instead of fixing issues in already popular open-source applications and desktop environments − create new, mostly redundant software to gain fame and fortune. He also criticizes notebook manufacturers for optimizing their own products only privately or creating
workaround A workaround is a bypass of a recognized problem or limitation in a system or policy. A workaround is typically a temporary fix that implies that a genuine solution to the problem is needed. But workarounds are frequently as creative as true solut ...
s 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 Microsystems, Inc. (Sun for short) was an American technology company that sold computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. M ...
(Sun) acquired
MySQL AB MySQL AB was a Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet u ...
, owner of the popular open-source
MySQL MySQL () is an open-source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product. The open-source m ...
database, in 2008. 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. Partly in response to uncertainty about the future of MySQL, the FOSS community forked the project into new
database systems A database is an organized collection of Data (computing), data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system. Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal #Design and modeling, design and modeling ...
outside of Oracle's control. These include
MariaDB MariaDB is a community-developed, commercially supported fork In cutlery or kitchenware, a fork (from la, furca 'pitchfork') is a utensil, now usually made of metal, whose long handle terminates in a head that branches into several narrow an ...
,
Percona Percona is an American company based in Durham, North Carolina Durham ( ) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Scie ...

Percona
, and
Drizzle Drizzle is a light liquid precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin un ...
. All of these have distinct names; they are distinct projects and cannot use the trademarked name MySQL.


Legal cases


''Oracle v. Google''

In August 2010,
Oracle An oracle is a person or agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which go ...
sued
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
, claiming that its use of
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...
in
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...
infringed on Oracle's copyrights and patents. In May 2012, the trial judge determined that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents and 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. Oracle appealed to the
Federal Circuit Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy A federal monarchy, in the strict sense, is a federation of Federated state, states with a single monarch as overall head of the federation, but retaining different ...
, and Google filed a
cross-appeal In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is describ ...
on the literal copying claim.


As part/driver of a new socio-economic model

By defying ownership regulations in the construction and use of information − a key area of contemporary
growth Growth may refer to: Biology * Auxology, the study of all aspects of human physical growth * Bacterial growth * Cell growth * Growth hormone, a peptide hormone that stimulates growth * Human development (biology) * Plant growth * Secondary growth ...

growth
− the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) movement counters
neoliberalism Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with valu ...

neoliberalism
and
privatization Privatization (or privatisation in British English) can mean several different things, most commonly referring to moving something from the public sector into the private sector. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for deregulation when a heav ...
in general. 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 Transformation may refer to: Science and mathematics In biology and medicine * Metamorphosis, the biological process of changing physical form after birth or hatching * Malignant transformation, the process of cells becoming cancerous * Trans ...
of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
. According to
Yochai Benkler Yochai Benkler (; born 1964) is an Israeli-American author and the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. He is also a faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Universi ...

Yochai Benkler
, Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at
Harvard Law School Harvard Law School (HLS) is the law school A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education Legal education is the education of individuals in the principles, practices, and ...
, free software is the most visible part of a new economy of
commons-based peer production Commons-based peer production (CBPP) is a term coined by Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler. It describes a model of Socioeconomics, socio-economic production in which large numbers of people work cooperatively; usually over the Internet. ...
of information, knowledge, and culture. As examples, he cites a variety of FOSS projects, including both free software and open-source.


See also

*
FLOSS Manuals The FLOSS Manuals (FM) is a non-profit foundation founded in 2006 by Adam Hyde and based in the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in th ...
*
FLOSS Weekly FLOSS Weekly is a free and open-source software (alternative terms for free software, FLOSS) themed netcast from the TWiT Network. The show premiered on April 7, 2006, and features interviews with prominent guests from the free software/open source ...
*
Free software community The free software movement is a social movement with the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms for software users, namely the freedoms to run the software, to study the software, to modify the software, and to share copies of the so ...
*
Free software license A free-software license is a notice that grants the recipient of a piece of software extensive rights to modify and software distribution, redistribute that software. These actions are usually prohibited by copyright law, but the rights-holde ...
*
Graphics hardware and FOSS A free and open-source graphics device driver is a software stack which controls Graphics hardware, computer-graphics hardware and supports Rendering (computer graphics), graphics-rendering application programming interfaces (APIs) and is releas ...
* List of free and open source software packages *
List of formerly proprietary software This is a list of notable software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually perf ...
*
Open-source license An open-source license is a type of license A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the Eng ...
* Outline of free software


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * {{Open navbox Software licenses