Software products have been considered as intellectual properties that are protected through patents and/or law. On the other hand, Open Source Software (OSS) allows access to source code so that the users can read, modify, and redistribute the code. OSS is usually developed under an open environment with collaborations among numerous developers. The software is considered more reliable, and the development process is considered more successful in terms of speed, productivity, and quality compared to software developed under the traditional closed development process. This paper studies the basics of OSS including history and background, and OSS licenses. The OSS licenses implement the “copyleft” concept, which is a method to make software free to use and modify. By studying the licenses, we expect to understand the philosophy of OSS movement in depth and under what conditions, OSS products are distributed.
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