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B-Eye: Open Source Software: Free and Open Source License Myths

Jan 15, 2006, 13:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pete Loshin)

"Copyright can be applied to software to limit how it may be copied and distributed. As I examined in my last article, Open Source Software and the Myth of Viral Licensing, copyright alone is not enough to define what a software purchaser may do. Thus, in addition to being copyrighted, virtually all software is distributed under the terms of some license that spells out what the user is and is not permitted to do with the code.

"Proprietary commercial licenses, like those under which Microsoft and Oracle offer their packages, generally forbid customers from examining the source code or even decompiling executable files; users may not make copies or otherwise share the software with others; finally, users are not permitted to distribute any modifications to the licensed software..."

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