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'''Open source''' or '''open-source''' is the idea that source code for a piece of software is freely available for viewing and modifying. Many open source licences are approved by the [http://www.opensource.org/ Open Source Initiative]. Open source licences approved by the Open Source Initiative may be referred to as '''OSI approved licences'''.

The [[MIT/X11 License]] and the [[GPL]] are examples of open source licenses.

It should be noted that while the term "open source" has gained wide-spread acceptance, there are still those who reject it. The most visible example is [[wp:Richard Stallman|Richard Stallman]], founder of the GNU Project and author of the GPL and several widely-used software packages, who instead continues to use the older term '''free software'''. (For a brief discussion of his reasons, see the Terminology section of his Wikipedia entry.) The possible confusion of the word "free" prompted Stallman to explain it this way:

"Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer."

==See Also==

  • [http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd The Open Source Definition]
  • [http://www.opensource.org/licenses List of Open Source Licenses]
  • [http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html The Free Software Definition]
  • [http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software]