Those of you non-geeks out there may well have heard the phrase ‘open source’, but not quite be sure of what it means. Well, in short, open source software licenses give users freedoms they would not otherwise have. If a program is open source, its source code is freely available to its users. Its users – and anyone else – have the ability to take this source code, modify it, and distribute their own versions of the program.
The users also have the ability to distribute as many copies of the original program as they want. Anyone can use the program for any purpose; there are no licensing fees or other restrictions on the software.