[License-discuss] [FAQ] Is <some PHP program> Open Source?

Engel Nyst engel.nyst at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 03:43:07 UTC 2013

On 1/7/13, Ben Reser <ben at reser.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 8:59 AM, Karl Fogel <kfogel at red-bean.com> wrote:
>> What I meant was a specific rewording.  In other words, I'm inviting you
>> to do the work you're inviting me to do :-).
> I'll do it, it's a good point.

Thank you for taking it into consideration, and I apologize for the
slow follow-up.

In case it helps in any way, I'd suggest:

"You can see the PHP source code, so it's Open Source, right?"
"No. The code of applications written in languages like PHP or
JavaScript is visible, but that alone doesn't mean anything yet: it
always depends on the license under which the code is distributed.
Only if the code is licensed under an approved Open Source license,
it's Open Source. The licenses in the list maintained by OSI are
reviewed before approval, to make sure that everyone receiving the
code has the perpetual right to use, modify, share and reshare the
code freely, as well as other criteria as listed in the Open Source
Definition. It's those criteria that define Open Source, not access to
the source code alone.
If the code is not under one of the approved licenses, then please do
not call it Open Source."

Thank you!

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