When software is created it is automatically copyrighted to the person or company that created it. This means that’s unless expressed permission has been given, the code may not be used by others.
Open Source Software
Open source software is created in such a way that includes a licence for others to be able to see the code and adapt it for their own purposes. This often means that new versions of the software may be developed collaboratively by volunteers or by another individual as a branch to the original program.
Although open source software is generally free, this is not always the case and often a small donation is made to help cover the costs of development.
Closed Source Software
In contrast, closed sourced software has been compiled preventing others from seeing the original source code and protecting the intellectual property of the developer. Closed source software is often also referred to as proprietary software as it is usually developed buy an individual or company to be sold or licensed to others.
There are several different types of licence, but a user can be given in order to use the software. A proprietary license, such as the subscription to TeachAllAboutIT gives the user permission to access the software for the duration that they have purchased the permission to do so. This type of license allows the user to make use of the software but not to make any changes to the code or to sell it on to others.
The Creative Commons license was developed to allow the free distribution of software and digital products while still identifying the original creator. Creative Commons is divided into a number of different types of licence from the ability to use a digital product freely as long as the originater is credited, to the ability to use but not edit a digital product with full credit given to the creator.
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