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Open source

What is Open Source explained in LEGO

In production and development, open source as a development model promotes a universal access via a free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.[1][2] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code.[3] Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created.

Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is typically a collaborative effort where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community so that other members can help improve it further.

Many large formal institutions have sprung up to support the development of the open source movement, including the Apache Software Foundation, which supports projects such as the open source framework behind big data Apache Hadoop and an open-source HTTP server Apache HTTP.

The open-source model is based on a more decentralized model of production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies.[4]

A main principle of open-source software development is peer production by collaboration, with the end-product, source code, "blueprints", and documentation available at no cost to the public. The open source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of closed proprietary code, and it is now spreading across different fields. This model is also used for the development of open-source-appropriate technologies,[5] solar photovoltaic technology[6] and open-source drug discovery.[7][8]


  • History 1
  • Economics 2
    • Alternatives 2.1
  • Applications 3
    • Computer software 3.1
    • Electronics 3.2
    • Beverages 3.3
    • Digital content 3.4
    • Medicine 3.5
    • Science and engineering 3.6
      • Robotics 3.6.1
    • Fashion 3.7
    • Other 3.8
    • Case study 3.9
  • Society and culture 4
    • Government 4.1
    • Ethics 4.2
    • Religion 4.3
    • Media 4.4
    • Education 4.5
    • Innovation communities 4.6
    • Arts and recreation 4.7
  • See also 5
    • Lists 5.1
    • Terms based on open source 5.2
    • Other 5.3
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
    • Literature on legal and economic aspects 7.1
  • External links 8


The sharing of technological information predates the

  • What is open source? (
  • "An open-source shot in the arm?" The Economist, Jun 10th 2004
  • Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards
  • UNU/IIST Open Source Software Certification
  • Open Source Open World – Open Standards Throughout the Globe
  • The Changelog, a podcast and blog that covers what's fresh and new in Open Source (essentially covering "the changelog" of open source projects)

External links

  • Benkler, Y. (December 2002). "Coase's Penguin, or, Linux and The Nature of the Firm" (PDF). Yale Law Journal 112 (3): 369–446.  
  • Berry, D.M.; Moss, G. (2008). "Libre Culture: Meditations on Free Culture" (PDF). Canada: Pygmalion Books. 
  • Bitzer, J.; Schröder, P.J.H. (2005). "The Impact of Entry and Competition by Open Source Software on Innovation Activity" (PDF). Industrial Organization 0512001. EconWPA. 
  • v. Engelhardt, S. (2008). "The Economic Properties of Software" (PDF). Jena Economic Research Papers 2: 2008–045. 
  • v. Engelhardt, S. (2008): "Intellectual Property Rights and Ex-Post Transaction Costs: the Case of Open and Closed Source Software", Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-047. (PDF)
  • v. Engelhardt, S.; Swaminathan, S. (2008). "Open Source Software, Closed Source Software or Both: Impacts on Industry Growth and the Role of Intellectual Property Rights" (PDF). Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 799. 
  • European Commission. (2006). Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies sector in the EU. Brussels.
  • Feller, J.; Fitzgerald, B.; Hissam, S.A., eds. (2005). Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software. MIT Press.  
  • v. Hippel, E.; v. Krogh, G. (2003). "Open source software and the "private-collective" innovation model: Issues for organization science". Organization Science 14 (2): 209–223.  
  • Lerner J., Pathak P. A., Tirole, J. (2006). "The Dynamics of Open Source Contributors". American Economic Review 96 (2): 114–8.  
  • Lerner, J., Tirole, J. (2002). "Some simple economics on open source". Journal of Industrial Economics 50 (2): 197–234.   earlier revision (PDF)
  • Lerner, J.; Tirole, J. (2005). "The Scope of Open Source Licensing". The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 21: 20–56.  
  • Lerner, J.; Tirole, J. (2005). "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond". Journal of Economic Perspectives 19 (2): 99–120.  
  • Maurer, S.M. (2008). "Open source biology: Finding a niche (or maybe several)" (PDF). UMKC Law Review 76 (2).  
  • Osterloh, M.; Rota, S. (2007). earlier revision "Open source software development — Just another case of collective invention?" (PDF). Research Policy 36 (2): 157–171.  
  • Riehle, D. (April 2007). "The Economic Motivation of Open Source: Stakeholder Perspectives". IEEE Computer 40 (4): 25–32.  
  • Rossi, M.A. (2006). "Decoding the free/open source software puzzle: A survey of theoretical and empirical contributions". In Bitzer, J.; Schröder, P. The Economics of Open Source Software Development (PDF). Elsevier. pp. 15–55.  
  • Schiff, A. (2002). "The Economics of Open Source Software: A Survey of the Early Literature" (PDF). Review of Network Economics 1 (1): 66–74.  
  • Schwarz, M.; Takhteyev, Y. (2010). "Half a Century of Public Software Institutions: Open Source as a Solution to the Hold-Up Problem". Journal of Public Economic Theory 12 (4): 609–639.   earlier revision
  • Spagnoletti, P.; Federici, T. (2011). "Exploring the Interplay Between FLOSS Adoption and Organizational Innovation". Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS) 29 (15): 279–298. 
  • Abramson, Bruce (2005). Digital Phoenix; Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How it Will Rise Again. MIT Press.  
  • Sampathkumar, K.S. Understanding FOSS Version 4.0 revised.  

Literature on legal and economic aspects

  • Benkler, Yochai (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press. 
  • Berry, David M. (2008). Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source. London:Pluto Press.  
  • Karl Fogel. Producing Open Source Software (How to run a successful free-software project). Free PDF version available.
  • Goldman, Ron; Gabriel, Richard P. (2005). Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Open Source as Business Strategy. Richard P. Gabriel.  
  • Dunlap, Isaac Hunter (2006). Open Source Database Driven Web Development: A Guide for Information Professionals. Oxford: Chandos.  
  • Nettingsmeier, Jörn. "So What? I Don't Hack!" eContact! 11.3 – Logiciels audio « open source » / Open Source for Audio Application (September 2009). Montréal: CEC.
  • Stallman, Richard M. Free Software Free Society: Selected essays of Richard M. Stallman. 
  • Various authors. eContact! 11.3 – Logiciels audio « open source » / Open Source for Audio Application (September 2009). Montréal: CEC.
  • Various authors. "Open Source Travel Guide [wiki]." eContact! 11.3 – Logiciels audio « open source » / Open Source for Audio Application (September 2009). Montréal: CEC.
  • Weber, Steve (2004). The Success of Open Source. Harvard University Press.  
  • Ray, Partha Pratim; Rai, Rebika (2013). Open Source Hardware: An Introductory Approach. Lap Lambert Publishing House.  

Further reading

  1. ^ Lakhani, K.R.; von Hippel, E. (June 2003). "How Open Source Software Works: Free User to User Assistance". Research Policy 32 (6): 923–943.  
  2. ^ Gerber, A.; Molefo, O.; Van der Merwe, A. (2010). "Documenting open-source migration processes for re-use". In Kotze, P.; Gerber, A.; van der Merwe, A. et al. Proceedings of the SAICSIT 2010 Conference — Fountains of Computing Research. ACM Press. pp. 75–85.  
  3. ^ Weber 2004
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "The Case for Open Source Appropriate Technology". Environment, Development and Sustainability 14: 425–431. 2012.  
  6. ^ Buitenhuis, A.J.; Pearce, J.M. (2012). "Open-source development of solar photovoltaic technology". Energy for Sustainable Development 16 (3): 379–388.  
  7. ^ "Science 2.0 is here as CSIR resorts to open-source drug research for TB" Business Standard, 1 March 2009
  8. ^ "Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria Consortium
  9. ^ a b c d James J. Flink (1977). The Car Culture. MIT Press.  
  10. ^ Fisher, Franklin M.; James W. McKie; Richard B. Mancke (1983). IBM and the U.S. Data Processing Industry: An Economic History. Praeger. pp. 172–9.   IBM unbundled (began charging for) software June 23, 1969
  11. ^ Dave Pitts' IBM 7090 support – An example of distributed source: Page contains a link to IBM 7090/94 IBSYS source, including COBOL and FORTRAN compilers.
  12. ^ a b c  
  13. ^ "Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software". 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  14. ^ Muffatto, Moreno (2006). Open Source: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Imperial College Press.  
  15. ^ """Goodbye, "free software"; hello, "open source. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  16. ^ "Open Source Summit LG #28". 1998-04-10. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  17. ^ Granstrand, Ove (1999). The economics and management of intellectual property : towards intellectual capitalism. Cheltenham, UK: E. Elgar.  
  18. ^ "About The Licenses". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  19. ^ Open-Source Practices for Biotechnology' — Cambia — Enabling Innovation"'". Cambia. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  20. ^ Pearce, Joshua M. (1 August 2012). "Open Source Research in Sustainability". Sustainability: the Journal of Record 5 (4): 238–243.  
  21. ^ "The MIT Press | 50 years of publishing". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  22. ^ Pearce, Joshua M (2012). "Building Research Equipment with Free, Open-Source Hardware". Science 337 (6100): 1303–4.   open access
  23. ^ "Android Marks Fourth Anniversary Since Launch with 75.0% Market Share in Third Quarter, According to IDC — prUS23771812". Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  24. ^ "FAQ | LucidWorks". 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  25. ^ Randolph Metcalfe (2012-01-31). "Examples of Open Source Software". OSS Watch. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  26. ^ "An Open Source Processor used in Sun SPARC Servers". OpenSPARC. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  27. ^ "Arduino — HomePage". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  28. ^ "GizmoSphere Website". 2013. 
  29. ^ "Computers: Systems: Handhelds: Open Source: Simputer". Open Directory. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  30. ^ "Download Specs & Designs". Open Compute Project website. Facebook Inc. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  31. ^ "Lasersaur — HomePage". Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  32. ^ "Open Cola Soft Drink Formula, Version 1.1.3 from Tyromaniac". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  33. ^ The concept expands upon a statement found in the Free Software Definition: "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.'"
  34. ^  
  35. ^ Cohn, David (18 July 2005). "Free Beer for Geeks". Wired News. 
  36. ^ "About Brewtopia". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  37. ^ "Project Gutenberg — free ebooks". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  38. ^ "Want to take 3 storeys to tell your story.". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  39. ^ Munos B (September 2006). "Can open-source R&D reinvigorate drug research?". Nat Rev Drug Discov 5 (9): 723–9.  
  40. ^ Maurer SM, Rai A, Sali A (December 2004). "Finding cures for tropical diseases: is open source an answer?". PLoS Med. 1 (3): e56.  
  41. ^ "the Tropical Disease Initiative". 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  42. ^ "The Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria Consortium". 2012-12-14. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  43. ^ Rohde H; Qin, J; Cui, Y; Li, D; Loman, NJ; Hentschke, M; Chen, W; Pu, F et al. (2011). "Open-Source Genomic Analysis of Shiga-Toxin–Producing E. coli O104:H4". N Engl J Med 365 (8): 718–24.  
  44. ^ "Science — Creative Commons". 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  45. ^ a b Pearce, Joshua. M; Adegboyega Babasola; Rob Andrews (2012). "Open Solar Photovoltaic Systems Optimization". Proceedings of the 16th Annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Conference (NCIIA): 1–7. 
  46. ^ "Open Solar Outdoors Test Field — Appropedia: The sustainability wiki". Appropedia.  
  47. ^ "Hyperloop". Tesla Motors website. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  48. ^ LaBarre, Suzanne (25 August 2011). "WikiHouse, An Online Building Kit, Shows How To Make A House In 24 Hours". Co.Design.  
  49. ^ Kingsley, Jeremy (22 February 2012). "The WikiHouse Revolution".  
  50. ^ "Botho — The Open Source Eyewear Brand". Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  51. ^ "Open collaborative design". AdCiv. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  52. ^ A. J. Buitenhuis, I. Zelenika and J. M. Pearce, "Open Design-Based Strategies to Enhance Appropriate Technology Development", Proceedings of the 14th Annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Conference : Open, March 25-27th 2010, pp. 1-12.
  53. ^ J.M. Pearce, C. Morris Blair, K.J. Laciak, R. Andrews, A. Nosrat, I. Zelenika-Zovko (2010). "3-D Printing of Open Source Appropriate Technologies for Self-Directed Sustainable Development". Journal of Sustainable Development 3 (4): 17–29.  
  54. ^ "JEDI: The Open Source Curricullum — Project Kenai". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  55. ^ J.M. Pearce (2007). "Teaching Physics Using Appropriate Technology Projects". The Physics Teacher 45 (3): 164–7.  
  56. ^ Joshua M. Pearce (2009). "Appropedia as a Tool for Service Learning in Sustainable Development". Journal of Education for Sustainable Development 3 (1): 45–53.   Q-Space pre-print
  57. ^ S. Murphy and N. Saleh, "Information literacy in CEAB's accreditation criteria: the hidden attribute", In Proceedings of The Sixth International Conference on Innovation and Practices in Engineering Design and Engineering Education, 2009. Hamilton, ON July 27–29, 2009.
  58. ^ Greenberg, Andy (2012-08-23). Wiki Weapon Project' Aims To Create A Gun Anyone Can 3D-Print At Home"'". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  59. ^ Poeter, Damon (2012-08-24). "Could a 'Printable Gun' Change the World?". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  60. ^ William Doyle and Joshua M. Pearce (2009). "Utilization of Virtual Globes for Open Source Industrial Symbiosis". Open Environmental Sciences ( 3: 88–96.  
  61. ^ "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  62. ^ "Chilling Effects Clearinghouse". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  63. ^ "Open source software development – Just another case of collective invention?". Archived from the original on 2011-12-22. 
  64. ^
  65. ^ Berry (2004) Internet Ethics: Privacy, Ethics and Alienation – An Open Source Approach. (PDF file)
  66. ^ El-Emam, K (2001). "Ethics and Open Source". Empirical Software Engineering 6 (4). 
  67. ^ Kearney, Richard (2011). Anatheism: Returning to God After God. Columbia University Press. p. xiii.  
  68. ^ "Elephants Dream". Elephants Dream. 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  69. ^ "Web Power to the People," The Boston Herald, September 29, 2005
  70. ^ "The Glory Days of the Rock of Boston," Boston Globe, Op-Ed, July 18, 2009.
  71. ^ "'BCN Documentary Looks for Archival Contributors," Boston Herald, August 11, 2009
  72. ^ "WBCN and The American Revolution," The Huffington Post, August 11, 2009
  73. ^ "Watch Documentaries and Animated Films Online". 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  74. ^
  75. ^ "Pharmaceutical Licensing Network — Open Source Pharmaceuticals — New Business Model". Farmavita.Net. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  76. ^ [2]
  77. ^ "Eclipse". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  78. ^ "Open Source Yoga Unity — Home". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  79. ^ """Техно-опера "2032: Легенда о несбывшемся грядущем. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  80. ^ "Первая в мире музыкальная опера с открытыми исходниками — 25 Января 2012 — Новости музыки и шоубизнеса". Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  81. ^ "Музыкальная опера "2032" становится opensource — Talks — Форум". Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  82. ^ "Оепбюъ Б Лхпе Лсгшйюкэмюъ Ноепю Я Нрйпшршлх Хяундмхйюлх". Retrieved 2013-06-07. 


See also

In 2012, Russian music composer, scientist and Russian Pirate Party member Victor Argonov presented detailed raw files of his electronic opera "2032"[79] under free license CC-BY-NC 3.0. This opera was originally composed and published in 2007 by Russian label MC Entertainment as a commercial product, but then the author changed its status to free. In his blog [1] he said that he decided to open raw files (including wav, midi and other used formats) to the public in order to support worldwide pirate actions against SOPA and PIPA. Several Internet resources,[80][81][82] called "2032" the first open source musical opera in history.

Copyright protection is used in the performing arts and even in athletic activities. Some groups have attempted to remove copyright from such practices.[78]

Arts and recreation

Open innovation is also a new emerging concept which advocate putting R&D in a common pool. The Eclipse platform is openly presenting itself as an Open innovation network.[77]

New NGO communities are starting to use the open-source technology as a tool. One example is the Open Source Youth Network started in 2007 in Lisboa by ISCA members.[76]

Benjamin Franklin was an early contributor eventually donating all his inventions including the Franklin stove, bifocals, and the lightning rod to the public domain.

Farmavita.Net is a community of pharmaceuticals executives that has recently proposed a new business model of open-source pharmaceuticals.[75] The project is targeted to development and sharing of know-how for manufacture of essential and life-saving medicines. It is mainly dedicated to the countries with less developed economies where local pharmaceutical research and development resources are insufficient for national needs. It will be limited to generic (off-patent) medicines with established use. By the definition, medicinal product have a "well-established use" if is used for at least 15 years, with recognized efficacy and an acceptable level of safety. In that event, the expensive clinical test and trial results could be replaced by appropriate scientific literature.

The National Institutes of Health has recently proposed a policy on "Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information." This policy would provide a free, searchable resource of NIH-funded results to the public and with other international repositories six months after its initial publication. The NIH's move is an important one because there is significant amount of public funding in scientific research. Many of the questions have yet to be answered – the balancing of profit vs. public access, and ensuring that desirable standards and incentives do not diminish with a shift to open access.

These principles are, in part, complemented by US law's focus on protecting expression and method but not the ideas themselves. There is also a tradition of publishing research results to the scientific community instead of keeping all such knowledge proprietary. One of the recent initiatives in scientific publishing has been open access – the idea that research should be published in such a way that it is free and available to the public. There are currently many open access journals where the information is available free online, however most journals do charge a fee (either to users or libraries for access). The Budapest Open Access Initiative is an international effort with the goal of making all research articles available free on the Internet.

The principle of sharing pre-dates the open-source movement; for example, the free sharing of information has been institutionalized in the scientific enterprise since at least the 19th century. Open-source principles have always been part of the scientific community. The sociologist Robert K. Merton described the four basic elements of the community – universalism (an international perspective), communalism (sharing information), disinterestedness (removing one's personal views from the scientific inquiry) and organized skepticism (requirements of proof and review) that accurately describe the scientific community today.

Innovation communities

On March 30, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which included $2 billion over four years to fund the TAACCCT program, which is described as "the largest OER (open education resources) initiative in the world and uniquely focused on creating curricula in partnership with industry for credentials in vocational industry sectors like manufacturing, health, energy, transportation and IT."[74]

Another strand to the academic community is in the area of research. Many funded research projects produce software as part of their work. There is an increasing interest in making the outputs of such projects available under an open-source license. In the UK the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has developed a policy on open-source software. JISC also funds a development service called OSS Watch which acts as an advisory service for higher and further education institutions wishing to use, contribute to and develop open-source software.

Open-source curricula are instructional resources whose digital source can be freely used, distributed and modified.

Within the academic community, there is discussion about expanding what could be called the "intellectual commons" (analogous to the Creative Commons). Proponents of this view have hailed the Connexions Project at Rice University, OpenCourseWare project at MIT, Eugene Thacker's article on "open-source DNA", the "Open Source Cultural Database", Salman Khan's Khan Academy and WorldHeritage as examples of applying open source outside the realm of computer software.


Open-IPTV is IPTV that is not limited to one recording studio, production studio, or cast. Open-IPTV uses the Internet or other means to pool efforts and resources together to create an online community that all contributes to a show.

An open-source documentary film has a production process allowing the open contributions of archival material, footage, and other filmic elements, both in unedited and edited form. By doing so, on-line contributors become part of the process of creating the film, helping to influence the editorial and visual material to be used in the documentary, as well as its thematic development. The first open-source documentary film is the non-profit "The American Revolution," which went into production in 2005, and will examine the role media played in the cultural, social and political changes from 1968 to 1974 through the story of radio station WBCN-FM in Boston.[69][70][71][72] The film is being produced by Lichtenstein Creative Media and the non-profit Filmmakers Collaborative. Open Source Cinema is a website to create Basement Tapes, a feature documentary about copyright in the digital age, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada.[73] Open-source film-making refers to a form of film-making that takes a method of idea formation from open-source software, but in this case the 'source' for a filmmaker is raw unedited footage rather than programming code. It can also refer to a method of film-making where the process of creation is 'open' i.e. a disparate group of contributors, at different times contribute to the final piece.

Open-source movie production is either an open call system in which a changing crew and cast collaborate in movie production, a system in which the end result is made available for re-use by others or in which exclusively open-source products are used in the production. The 2006 movie Elephants Dream is said to be the "world's first open movie",[68] created entirely using open-source technology.

locked into a single software vendor, leaving them free to switch software if their current vendor goes out of business, raises their prices, changes their software, or changes their licensing terms to something less favorable.

Messageboards are another platform for open-source culture. Messageboards (also known as discussion boards or forums), are places online where people with similar interests can congregate and post messages for the community to read and respond to. Messageboards sometimes have moderators who enforce community standards of etiquette such as banning users who are spammers. Other common board features are private messages (where users can send messages to one another) as well as chat (a way to have a real time conversation online) and image uploading. Some messageboards use phpBB, which is a free open-source package. Where blogs are more about individual expression and tend to revolve around their authors, messageboards are about creating a conversation amongst its users where information can be shared freely and quickly. Messageboards are a way to remove intermediaries from everyday life – for instance, instead of relying on commercials and other forms of advertising, one can ask other users for frank reviews of a product, movie or CD. By removing the cultural middlemen, messageboards help speed the flow of information and exchange of ideas.

LiveJournal or WordPress, utilize open-source software that is open to the public and can be modified by users to fit their own tastes. Whether the code is open or not, this format represents a nimble tool for people to borrow and re-present culture; whereas traditional websites made the illegal reproduction of culture difficult to regulate, the mutability of blogs makes "open sourcing" even more uncontrollable since it allows a larger portion of the population to replicate material more quickly in the public sphere.

Open-source journalism formerly referred to the standard journalistic techniques of news gathering and fact checking, reflecting open-source intelligence a similar term used in military intelligence circles. Now, open-source journalism commonly refers to forms of innovative publishing of online journalism, rather than the sourcing of news stories by a professional journalist. In the December 25, 2006 issue of TIME magazine this is referred to as user created content and listed alongside more traditional open-source projects such as OpenSolaris and Linux.


Irish philosopher Richard Kearney has used the term "open-source Hinduism" to refer to the way historical figures such as Mohandas Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda worked upon this ancient tradition.[67]


  • Open-source ethics as an ethical school – Charles Ess and David Berry are researching whether ethics can learn anything from an open-source approach. Ess famously even defined the AoIR Research Guidelines as an example of open-source ethics.[65]
  • Open-source ethics as a professional body of rules – This is based principally on the computer ethics school, studying the questions of ethics and professionalism in the computer industry in general and software development in particular.[66]

Open-source ethics is split into two strands:


  • Open politics (sometimes known as Open-source politics) is a political process that uses Internet technologies such as blogs, email and polling to provide for a rapid feedback mechanism between political organizations and their supporters. There is also an alternative conception of the term Open-source politics which relates to the development of public policy under a set of rules and processes similar to the open-source software movement.
  • Open-source governance is similar to open-source politics, but it applies more to the democratic process and promotes the freedom of information.
  • The South Korean government wants to increase its use of free and open source software, in order to decrease its dependence on proprietary software solutions. It plans to make open standards a requirement, to allow the government to choose between multiple operating systems and web browsers. Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning is also preparing ten pilots on using open source software distributions.[64]


Through various technologies such as peer-to-peer networks and blogs, cultural producers can take advantage of vast social networks to distribute their products. As opposed to traditional media distribution, redistributing digital media on the Internet can be virtually costless. Technologies such as BitTorrent and Gnutella take advantage of various characteristics of the Internet protocol (TCP/IP) in an attempt to totally decentralize file distribution.

First, the Internet allows even greater access to inexpensive digital media and storage. Instead of users being limited to their own facilities and resources, they are granted access to a vast network of facilities and resources, some free. Sites such as ccMixter offer up free web space for anyone willing to license their work under a Creative Commons license. The resulting cultural product is then available to download free (generally accessible) to anyone with an Internet connection.[63] Second, users are granted unprecedented access to each other. Older analog technologies such as the telephone or television have limitations on the kind of interaction users can have. In the case of television there is little, if any interaction between users participating on the network. And in the case of the telephone, users rarely interact with any more than a couple of their known peers. On the Internet, however, users have the potential to access and meet millions of their peers. This aspect of the Internet facilitates the modification of culture as users are able to collaborate and communicate with each other across international and cultural boundaries. The speed in which digital media travels on the Internet in turn facilitates the redistribution of culture.

Essentially born out of a desire for increased general access to digital media, the Internet is open-source culture's most valuable asset. It is questionable whether the goals of an open-source culture could be achieved without the Internet. The global network not only fosters an environment where culture can be generally accessible, but also allows for easy and inexpensive redistribution of culture back into various communities. Some reasons for this are as follows.

Open-source culture precedes Richard Stallman's codification of free software with the creation of the Free Software movement. As the public began to communicate through Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) like FidoNet, places like Sourcery Systems BBS were dedicated to providing source code to Public Domain, Shareware and Freeware programs.

One way of achieving the goal of making the fixations of cultural work generally available is to maximally utilize technology and digital media. In keeping with Moore's law's prediction about processors, the cost of digital media and storage plummeted in the late 20th Century. Consequently, the marginal cost of digitally duplicating anything capable of being transmitted via digital media dropped to near zero. Combined with an explosive growth in personal computer and technology ownership, the result is an increase in general population's access to digital media. This phenomenon facilitated growth in open-source culture because it allowed for rapid and inexpensive duplication and distribution of culture. Where the access to the majority of culture produced prior to the advent of digital media was limited by other constraints of proprietary and potentially "open" mediums, digital media is the latest technology with the potential to increase access to cultural products. Artists and users who choose to distribute their work digitally face none of the physical limitations that traditional cultural producers have been typically faced with. Accordingly, the audience of an open-source culture faces little physical cost in acquiring digital media.

The idea of an "open-source" culture runs parallel to "Free Culture," but is substantively different. Free culture is a term derived from the free software movement, and in contrast to that vision of culture, proponents of open-source culture (OSC) maintain that some intellectual property law needs to exist to protect cultural producers. Yet they propose a more nuanced position than corporations have traditionally sought. Instead of seeing intellectual property law as an expression of instrumental rules intended to uphold either natural rights or desirable outcomes, an argument for OSC takes into account diverse goods (as in "the Good life") and ends.

In the late 20th century, cultural practitioners began to adopt the intellectual property licensing techniques of free software and open-source software to make their work more freely available to others, including the Creative Commons.

Although artistic appropriation is often permitted under fair-use doctrines, the complexity and ambiguity of these doctrines creates an atmosphere of uncertainty among cultural practitioners. Also, the protective actions of copyright owners create what some call a "chilling effect" among cultural practitioners.[62]

The rise of open-source culture in the 20th century resulted from a growing tension between creative practices that involve appropriation, and therefore require access to content that is often copyrighted, and increasingly restrictive intellectual property laws and policies governing access to copyrighted content. The two main ways in which intellectual property laws became more restrictive in the 20th century were extensions to the term of copyright (particularly in the United States) and penalties, such as those articulated in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), placed on attempts to circumvent anti-piracy technologies.[61]

Open-source culture is the creative practice of appropriation and free sharing of found and created content. Examples include collage, found footage film, music, and appropriation art. Open-source culture is one in which fixations, works entitled to copyright protection, are made generally available. Participants in the culture can modify those products and redistribute them back into the community or other organizations.

Society and culture

  1. Reduce embodied energy of transport by reducing distances to recycling facilities
  2. Choose end-of-life at recycling facilities rather than landfills
  3. Establish industrial symbiosis and eco-industrial parks on known by-product synergies

An investigation of open-source industrial symbiosis was performed by Doyle and Pearce using Google Earth. Their paper[60] found that virtual globes coupled with open-source waste information can be used to:

Case study

  • Open-source principles can be applied to technical areas such as digital communication protocols and data storage formats.
  • Open design – which involves applying open-source methodologies to the design of artifacts and systems in the physical world. It is very nascent but has huge potential.[51]
  • Open-source-appropriate technology (OSAT) refers to technologies that are designed in the same fashion as free and open-source software.[52] These technologies must be "appropriate technology" (AT) – meaning technology that is designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of the community it is intended for. An example of this application is the use of open-source 3D printers like the RepRap to manufacture appropriate technology.[53]
  • There are few examples of business information (methodologies, advice, guidance, practices) using the open-source model, although this is another case where the potential is enormous. ITIL is close to open source. It uses the Cathedral model (no mechanism exists for user contribution) and the content must be bought for a fee that is small by business consulting standards (hundreds of British pounds). Various checklists are published by government, banks or accounting firms.
  • An open-source group emerged in 2012 that is attempting to design a firearm that may be downloaded from the internet and "printed" on a 3-D Printer.[58] Calling itself Defense Distributed, the group wants to facilitate "a working plastic gun that could be downloaded and reproduced by anybody with a 3D printer."[59]
VIA OpenBook, is an open-source hardware laptop reference design.


  • Eyewear – In June 2013, an open source eyewear brand, Botho, has started trading under the UK based Open Optics Ltd company.[50]


An open-source robot is a robot whose blueprints, schematics, and/or source code are released under an open-source model.


  • Research – The Science Commons was created as an alternative to the expensive legal costs of sharing and reusing scientific works in journals etc.[44]
  • Research – The Open Source Science Project was created to increase the ability for students to participate in the research process by providing them access to microfunding – which, in turn, offers non-researchers the opportunity to directly invest, and follow, cutting-edge scientific research. All data and methodology is subsequently published in an openly accessible manner under a Creative Commons fair use license.
  • Research – [46][45]
  • Engineering – Hyperloop, a form of high-speed transport proposed by entrepreneur Elon Musk, which he describes as "an elevated, reduced-pressure tube that contains pressurized capsules driven within the tube by a number of linear electric motors."[47]
  • Construction – WikiHouse is an open-source project for designing and building houses.[48][49]

Science and engineering

  • Pharmaceuticals – There have been several proposals for open-source pharmaceutical development,[39][40] which led to the establishment of the Tropical Disease Initiative[41] and the Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria Consortium.[42]
  • Genomics – The term "open-source genomics" refers to the combination of rapid release of sequence data (especially raw reads) and crowdsourced analyses from bioinformaticians around the world that characterised the analysis of the 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak.[43]
  • OpenEMR  – OpenEMR is an ONC-ATB Ambulatory EHR 2011-2012 certified electronic health records and medical practice management application. It features fully integrated electronic health, records, practice management, scheduling, electronic billing, and is the base for many EHR programs.


  • Open ICEcat is an open catalog for the IT, CE and Lighting sectors with product data-sheets based on Open Content License Agreement. The digital content are distributed in XML and URL formats.
  • Open-content projects organized by the Wikimedia Foundation – Sites such as WorldHeritage and Wiktionary have embraced the open-content GFDL and Creative Commons content licenses. These licenses were designed to adhere to principles similar to various open-source software development licenses. Many of these licenses ensure that content remains free for re-use, that source documents are made readily available to interested parties, and that changes to content are accepted easily back into the system. Important sites embracing open-source-like ideals are Project Gutenberg[37] and Wikisource, both of which post many books on which the copyright has expired and are thus in the public domain, ensuring that anyone has free, unlimited access to that content.

Digital content

  • Open source colas – cola soft drinks, similar to Coca-Cola and Pepsi, whose recipe is open source and developed by volunteers. The taste is said to be comparable to that of the standard beverages. Most corporations producing beverages hold their formulas as closely guarded secrets.[32]
  • Vores Øl beer (Open Source Beer) – a beer created by students at the IT-University in Copenhagen together with Superflex, a Copenhagen-based artist collective, to illustrate how open-source concepts might be applied outside the digital world.[33][34][35]
  • In 2002, the beer company Brewtopia in Australia started an open-source brewery and invited the general population to be involved in the development and ownership of the brewery, and to vote on the development of every aspect of its beer, Blowfly, and its road to market. In return for their feedback and input, individuals received shares in the company, which is now publicly traded on a stock exchange in Australia. The company has always adhered to its open-source roots and is the only beer company in the world that allows the public to design, customise and develop its own beers online.[36]


  • Openmoko: a family of open-source mobile phones, including the hardware specification and the operating system.
  • OpenRISC: an open-source microprocessor family, with architecture specification licensed under GNU GPL and implementation under LGPL.
  • Sun Microsystems's OpenSPARC T1 Multicore processor. Sun has released it under GPL.[26]
  • Arduino, a microcontroller platform for hobbyists, artists and designers.[27]
  • GizmoSphere, an open source development platform for the embedded design community; the site includes code downloads and hardware schematics along with free user guides, spec sheets and other documentation.[28]
  • Simputer, an open hardware handheld computer, designed in India for use in environments where computing devices such as personal computers are deemed inappropriate.[29]
  • LEON: A family of open-source microprocessors distributed in a library with peripheral IP cores, open SPARC V8 specification, implementation available under GNU GPL.
  • CERN OHL (CERN Open Hardware License).
  • Open Compute Project: designs for computer data center including power supply, Intel motherboard, AMD motherboard, chassis, racks, battery cabinet, and aspects of electrical and mechanical design.[30]
  • Lasersaur, an open source laser cutter.[31]

Open-source hardware is hardware whose initial specification, usually in a software format, are published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the hardware and source code without paying royalties or fees. Open-source hardware evolves through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual hardware/software developers, hobbyists, as well as very large companies. Examples of open-source hardware initiatives are:


Open-source software is software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees.[24] Open-source code can evolve through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as large companies. Some of the individual programmers who start an open-source project may end up establishing companies offering products or services incorporating open-source programs. Examples of open-source software products are:[25]

Android, the most popular mobile operating system (as of Nov 2012)[23]
Blender is an open-source 3D graphics editor.

Computer software

The open-source movement has inspired increased transparency and liberty in biotechnology research, for example by CAMBIA.[19] Even the research methodologies themselves can benefit from the application of open-source principles.[20] It has also given rise to the rapidly expanding open-source hardware movement. In the book Democratizing Innovation[21] it is argued that a trend toward democratized innovation in physical products (e.g. open-source hardware) is occurring like the free and open-source software movement, and that the difference between crowdsourcing and open source is that open-source production is a cooperative activity initiated and voluntarily undertaken by members of the public. One of the primary geographically diverse communities that is utilizing this developmental method is the scientific community, for example using open-source hardware to reduce the cost of scientific equipment.[22]

Social and political views have been affected by the growth of the concept of open source. Advocates in one field often support the expansion of open source in other fields. But Eric Raymond and other founders of the open-source movement have sometimes publicly argued against speculation about applications outside software, saying that strong arguments for software openness should not be weakened by overreaching into areas where the story may be less compelling. The broader impact of the open-source movement, and the extent of its role in the development of new information sharing procedures, remain to be seen.


  • Creation for its own sake — for example, WorldHeritage editors add content for recreation. Artists have a drive to create. Both communities benefit from free starting material.
  • Voluntary after-the-fact donations — used by shareware, street performers, and public broadcasting in the United States.
  • Patron — For example, open access publishing relies on institutional and government funding of research faculty, who also have a professional incentive to publish for reputation and career advancement. Works of the U.S. federal government are automatically released into the public domain.
  • Freemium — Give away a limited version for free and charge for a premium version (perhaps using a dual license)
  • Give away the product and charge something related — charge for support of open-source enterprise software, give away music but charge for concert admission
  • Give away work in order to gain market share — used by artists, in corporate software to spoil a dominant competitor (for example in the browser wars and the Android operating system)
  • For own use — Businesses or individual software developers often create software to solve a problem, bearing the full cost of initial creation. They will then open source the solution, and benefit from the improvements others make for their own needs. Communalizing the maintenance burden distributes the cost across more users; free riders can also benefit without undermining the creation process.

Alternative arrangements have also been shown to result in good creation outside of the proprietary model. Examples include:


However, others argue that because consumers do not pay for the copies, creators are unable to recoup the initial cost of production, and thus have no economic incentive to create in the first place. By this argument, consumers would lose out because some of the goods they would otherwise purchase would not be available at all. In practice, content producers can choose whether to adopt a proprietary license and charge for copies, or an open license. Some goods which require large amounts of professional research and development, such as the pharmaceutical industry (which depends largely on patents, not copyright for intellectual property protection) are almost exclusively proprietary.

Being organized effectively as a Creative Commons have websites where individuals can file for alternative "licenses", or levels of restriction, for their works.[18] These self-made protections free the general society of the costs of policing copyright infringement. Thus, on several fronts, there is an efficiency argument to be made on behalf of open-sourced goods.

Most economists agree that open-source candidates have an information good[17] (also termed "knowledge good") aspect. In general, this suggests that the original work involves a great deal of time, money, and effort. However, the cost of reproducing the work is very low, so that additional users may be added at zero or near zero cost – this is referred to as the marginal cost of a product. Copyright creates a monopoly so the price charged to consumers can be significantly higher than the marginal cost of production. This allows the author to recoup the cost of making the original work, without needing to find a single customer that can bear the entire cost. Conventional copyright thus creates access costs for consumers who value the work more than the marginal cost but less than the initial production cost. Access costs also pose problems for authors who wish to create a derivative work — such as a copy of a software program modified to fix a bug or add a feature, or a remix of a song — but are unable or unwilling to pay the copyright holder for the right to do so.


Starting in the beginning of the 2000s, a number of companies began to publish a small parts of their source code to claim they were open source, while keeping key parts closed. This led to the development of the now widely used terms free open-source software and commercial open-source software to distinguish between truly open and hybrid forms of open source.

The term was given a big boost at an event organized in April 1998 by technology publisher Tim O'Reilly. Originally titled the "Freeware Summit" and later known as the "Open Source Summit",[16] The event brought together the leaders of many of the most important free and open-source projects, including Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Eric Allman, Guido van Rossum, Michael Tiemann, Paul Vixie, Jamie Zawinski of Netscape, and Eric Raymond. At that meeting, the confusion caused by the name free software was brought up. Tiemann argued for "sourceware" as a new term, while Raymond argued for "open source." The assembled developers took a vote, and the winner was announced at a press conference that evening.

In February 1998, Raymond made the first public call to the free software community to adopt the new term.[15] The Open Source Initiative was formed shortly thereafter by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens.[12]

The label "open source" was adopted by a group of people in the free software movement at a strategy session[12] held at Palo Alto, California, in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator. The group of individuals at the session included Christine Peterson who suggested "open source", Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, Jon Hall, Sam Ockman, Michael Tiemann and Eric S. Raymond. Over the next week, Raymond and others worked on spreading the word. Linus Torvalds gave an all-important sanction the following day. Phil Hughes offered a pulpit in Linux Journal. Richard Stallman, pioneer of the free software movement, initially seemed to adopt the term, but later changed his mind.[12][13] Those people who adopted the term used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to free themselves from the ideology of the term "free software". Netscape released its source code under the Netscape Public License and later under the Mozilla Public License.[14]

The sharing of source code on the Internet began when the Internet was relatively primitive, with software distributed via UUCP, Usenet, and IRC, and Gopher. BSD, for example, was first widely distributed by posts to comp.os.linux on the Usenet, which is also where its development was discussed. Linux followed in this model.

Example of BBS systems and networks that gathered source code, and setup up boards specifically to discuss its modification includes WWIV, developed initially in BASIC by Wayne Bell. A culture of modifying his software and distributing the modifications, grew up so extensively that when the software was ported to first Pascal, then C++, its source code continued to be distributed to registered users, who would share mods and compile their own versions of the software. This may have contributed to its being a dominant system and network, despite being outside the Fidonet umbrella that was shared by so many other BBS makers.

In a foreshadowing of the Internet, software with source code included became available on BBS networks in the 1980s. This was sometimes a necessity; distributing software written in BASIC and other interpreted languages can only be distributed as source code as there is no separate portable executable binary to distribute.

Early instances of the free sharing of source code include IBM's source releases of its operating systems and other programs in the 1950s and 1960s, and the SHARE user group that formed to facilitate the exchange of software.[10][11]

Very similar to open standards, researchers with access to Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) used a process called Request for Comments to develop telecommunication network protocols. This collaborative process of the 1960s led to the birth of the Internet in 1969.

[9], 92 Ford patents and 515 patents from other companies were being shared between these manufacturers, without any exchange of money (or lawsuits).World War II By the time the US entered [9] The new association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US auto manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money between all the manufacturers.[9]) was formed.Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association won a challenge to the Selden patent. The result was that the Selden patent became virtually worthless and a new association (which would eventually become the Henry Ford By controlling this patent, they were able to monopolize the industry and force car manufacturers to adhere to their demands, or risk a lawsuit. In 1911, independent automaker [9]

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