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

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Fri Jan 25 18:25:45 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jan 09, 2013 at 05:43:07AM +0200, Engel Nyst wrote:
> 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."

I missed this until now.

"Only if the code is licensed under an approved Open Source license" is
probably not the most ideal way to say this part of it.  Rather, say that
it is open source only if "the code is available under a license that
conforms to the Open Source Definition".  There are, in fact, open source
licenses out there that are not OSI approved, and there is open source
software that uses licenses that are not OSI approved.  The FAQ should
strive for accuracy.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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