Speaking Notes from a Tech Talks Presentation by Kurt Nordstrom, October 25, 2006
- Open Source Licenses
- What does Open Source mean for the Non Developer?
- Final Thoughts
- Useful Links
- Commercial Licenses
- Microsoft Office
- Public Domain
- Often a licensing fee involved
- Dependence on vendor to make changes/modifications
- License can be restrictive (e.g. only 3 computers at a time per lab)
- Risk of abandonment
- Code is protected by copyright, by default
- Community development
- Access to the source
- Permit redistribution
- Permit derivative works
- Originated with the Berkeley Software Distribution OS at University of California, Berkeley
- Very permissive license
- Requires only attribution to authors
- Allows proprietary use and relicensing
- Examples of code released under BSD-style licenses
- Commercial derivatives of BSD-licensed code
- Mac OS X
- Early Microsoft Windows IP stack
- Vulnerable to "Embrace and Extend?"
- Created by Richard Stallman and the GNU Software Foundation
- Picture of RMS
- Using Copyright to enforce accessibility
- Strong Philosophical Underpinning. (Free Speech vs Free Beer)
- Restrictive license
Requires derivative works to retain GPL
- Examples of GPL'd projects
- Linux kernel
- GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)
Freedom to use and install Open Source Software
- No licensing fees or restrictions to deal with
- No restrictions on usage or sharing
- There is no automatic commercial support for Open Source products
- Free as in "Kitten" (Hattip to Garrett)
- Some organizations sell commercial-level support for open source tools
- The creators of open source software do not provide any guarantees or legal
- What you do with the software is your business
- No warranties (i.e. McAffee or Norton)
- Open Source licenses provide an excellent way for useful software to be developed by communities and made freely available.
- Open Source software frees users from the concerns of continuing licenses or upgrade cycles. Users may, however, still wish to purchase commercial support for open source products from 3rd party vendors.
- Open Source software, just like commercial software, varies widely in quality. It is the duty of the user or administrator to evaluate software quality.
- It is probably best not to use "good" or "bad" when describing open or closed source software models. Both have become essential aspects of the "digital landscape."
The Cathedral and the Bazaar Eric S. Raymond's original article, highlighting the distinctives of the open source development process.
The OSI (Open Source Initiative) Homepage (Lists most of the major open source licenses)
About the Author: Programmer Kurt Nordstrom resolves technical issues for the Portal to Texas History and the UNT Libraries' Digital Collections.