Open Source Licenses Explained

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Open source usually refers to something accessible by the public to modify and share. The origin of the term was related to developing software with a specific and designated approach. But in the present-day world, the term open-source refers to a wider set of values that are commonly referred to as the open-source way. Open source projects or initiatives are meant to be exchanged or collaboratively participated in to develop prototypes that celebrate meticulous transparency that is oriented towards community development. 

What Are the Open-Source Licenses?

It is a license given to software that shares source code, which can be inspected or modified by anyone. Source code is the language of software through which a computer communicates with a user to fulfill its objective and manipulate the outcome. By providing an open-source license, the software developers give access to programmers so that they can create changes to accommodate specific uses or add features. It can also be used to repair or omit parts that are not productive for the programmer’s purposes. Software developers and programmers from all over the world use open-source license codes to create software every day.

Who Benefits From Open-Source Licenses?

One might think that open source licenses and software only benefit programmers. But in truth, it is beneficial to almost every human being on the planet. In the initial days, programmers used technologies with an open-source license to develop most parts of the world wide web. Linux based operating systems and servers running Apache Web applications were primarily used to create large parts of the internet. Nearly every person on earth uses the internet to view information, communicate with each other, get entertainment, or play videos on computers, mobile phones, and other smart devices. All these devices can connect with the servers and computers at a remote location through open license-based software. 

These days a lot of our work is cloud-based that provides better efficiency and data security. We use document creators, image editors, and even workforce management software that is based on open source licenses so that we don’t have to download that software on our computers and enjoy many of those conveniences. People also use cloud-based software to store files, images, and videos that are stored in a network of computers running on open source licensed software. Most cloud-based software is free to use. Some of them are proprietary, such as Google apps, while many others have an open-source license. Many computer applications that run on clouds are often operating on top of other software that ensures that the cloud-based software runs efficiently and smoothly. The software that runs underneath the cloud applications is often called platforms which can be open-sourced. 

Does Open Source License Mean Free?

A lot of people usually have this misconception that giving an open-source software license means the software is free of charge. Open source license does not necessarily mean that the software is available for free. The concept of open source does not have any monetary implications of being openly available free of cost. It depends on the developers whether they want to charge for the software or not. However, even though there is a charge for the software, the source code is provided free of charge. It can get used to modifying the software according to the needs of the buyer. Many programmers give open-source license software for free, but they charge for different types of software support services. It often helps startups to get a test run of the beta version of the software and get other programmers to develop it for them while they look for errors or bugs. 

Why Do Developers Prefer to Use an Open-Source Licensed Software?

There are many reasons why people prefer to use open-source software licenses. 


Open-source licensed software provides more control over the coding for the programmer as well as allows them to develop new software based on those codes. They enjoy the flexibility of the software since they can modify the interface according to what they like or need. They can also omit parts of the software that are irrelevant for their purpose. Not only programmers but end users also enjoy open-source software because they provide the flexibility of usage. They can get the perks through different variations of the same software to suit their needs, especially regarding the interface and other functionality. People can add or remove applications and features according to what they like or don’t like, and use the software to fulfill their specific objectives. 


Many programmers used open-source software to gather on-job training and get better at programming. Developers can also test the software for errors and bugs and notify others of the same. Since the code is licensed to be accessible by everyone, software students use them as part of their study curriculum and use them for training purposes. Open licensees also encourage students to share their work with others so that others can critique their work or test them for bugs. It helps them to develop their skills for the future as software developers. Programmers who work on software with open licenses are sought after more by reputed companies. 


Stability is much more common in software with open source licenses in comparison to proprietary software, since to allow modifications using the source code they need to test the software more. Since the software will be subjected to scrutiny by programmers, the developers have to maintain a reputation in the industry. If an open-source software has too many bugs or errors, that can reflect poorly on the developers. 

Software with open source licenses always has a community of users and programmers related to it, which enables them to share their observations and expertise. They help each other to develop it further, test various aspects, and promote it further. Active discussions on forums and open development platforms allow software experts from all over the world to inspire young professionals and actively make the software industry better worldwide. 

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