The latest "revolution" in the software industry has nothing to do with breakthrough technology; the revolution is a rethinking of how software technology is held, developed, and distributed. The revolution is called "open source," although it has also been called "freeware," and "copyleft." Each term generically describes the movement, yet implies wildly different ideas to the developers, distributors, and users inside the open source community. Open source is not a company, but rather, a community; projects are established and programmers communicate and contribute software building blocks to each other via the Internet. When a software program is completed by this method it is then offered to the public over the Internet, sometimes free of charge, but always free of the use restrictions common to most software.
Shawn W. Parker,
Opening Up to Open Source,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol6/iss5/5