"Gated communities" are a non-Open Source form of shared
software development. The idea is that developers all enter into a
license, and are able to exchange source code modifications with
other licensed developers, but not with the general public. Gated
communities are in the news of late because one is being used for
the "Inferno" operating system, and because the concept is being
promoted by Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Press."
"A "gated community" license generally allows some form of
binary distribution, sometimes with a royalty payment to the
Initial Contributor required. Gated communities are un-equal: the
Initial Contributor of the program has more rights than anyone else
in the community. In general the Initial Contributor has the right
to distribute your modifications under any license it pleases, the
Initial Contributor may demand royalties for sale of the software,
and there may be other special terms to the license that go outside
of what you'd expect in an Open Source license. O'Reilly actually
calls them "Gated Open Source Communities," but this is incorrect:
none of the gated community licenses are compliant with the Open
Source Definition. Open Source allows anyone to participate."
"...Although Linux is now becoming superior to older Unix
systems, it started out as a Unix clone with only one crucial
difference: its licensing. Linux discarded the
"Legally-Restricted Elite Group" method of development, replacing
the gated community with a seeming free-for-all in which anyone is
allowed to participate but the quality of your code ultimately
determines whether or not it will be accepted. This opening of the
gates propelled Linux into the mainstream just when its work-alike
Unix had been given up for dead."
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.