What is Open Source?

Open Source is a type of license that allows the copyright owner to grant users the rights to research, change, and distribute the software under a free software license.


The Internet offers numerous definitions of the “Open Source” software. One of the most commonly used definitions is the one proposed by OSI [https://opensource.org/osd]. From the business perspective, open source software usually offers more possibilities than proprietary software as far as developing new elements is concerned.

The main idea behind open source is the possibility to use, modify, and distribute the software, which means more business freedom for the users. Even though there are many open source licenses and some of them are quite controversial, they usually prove to be a better substitute for proprietary software.


You have to keep in mind that you should carefully read the license before committing to any software. The fact that someone called the software “open source” doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for the company.

From the software producer’s perspective

If you create software and want to enjoy the benefits of open source then your best choice are liberal licenses that don’t enforce copyleft rules (e.g. MIT, BSD 3) and at the same time they can be combined with other licenses in a very wide range. If you want to protect your software (using copyleft for example) then the better choice for you might be the GPL v3 license.

From the user’s perspective

Liberal licenses (MIT, BSD, Apache License, LGPL) will almost always be the most beneficial choice for the end user. These licenses provide users with valuable freedom that is much more limited in less liberal licenses

  • Saturday, 12 September 2020