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Open-source software (OSS) refers to software that is released under one of several licenses, the most prevalent of which is GPL (GNU** General Public License) from the Free Software Foundation. According to this license, users have the freedom to run an OSS program for any purpose, have access to its source code, may modify the code, and may redistribute copies of either the original or the modified code without having to pay royalties to previous developers. Referred to by some as a “paradigm shift,” the OSS phenomenon is having a significant impact on the information-technology landscape. Although the revenue generated by opensource software does not come from the products themselves but from related hardware, software, and services, that revenue is now in the billions of dollars and growing.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

2005

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