Open Source VS Closed Source
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Open Source VS Closed Source

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,914

    Open Source VS Closed Source

    Hey Hey,

    I've seen a few people posting lately and throwing around the terms 'Open Source', 'Closed Source' and 'Commercial'... I think it's important to identify the differences in these models.. (There's also Shared Source (I.E. Microsoft) but that's a whole other can of worms).

    Open Source: This means that the source code to the software is available for in-house modification. That's what the 'Open Source Community' drives for... open modification and contribution of those modifications. Open Source, however, does not automatically guarentee that the software is free. I have see a few, not many, but a few projects where when you purchase the product the product you receive both the binary and the source. Not so you can distribute it, that would violate the license, but so you can make custom modifications for in house use. You have to remember that there are other open source liscensing structures other than the GPL.

    Closed Source: This usually means a binary is available for distrobution only, there is no available source code, even if you purchase the product. This however, doesn't mean you have to purchase the product... Look at freeware, a good chunk of it is closed source, but distributed freely.. Again there are a variety of licenses available.

    Commercial: This means they're selling the product, however just because something is Closed Source, doens't mean it's now a Commercial product... Both open source and closed source can be commercial products, but they could also not be commercial products.

    I just thought that maybe some clarification was necessary there... Primary because everyone thinks that because Nessus has gone closed source, it is now a commerical app... It's still being distributed free, just only in a binary format.

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Yes
    Posts
    4,424
    Not so you can distribute it, that would violate the license, but so you can make custom modifications for in house use.
    I think your definition of Open Source is a little off...

    The Open Source Initiative states that you can sell your code, and even that you cannot “stop someone else from selling your code as well.”
    http://www.opensource.org/advocacy/faq.php
    Nothing illegal about distributing it there... not even about selling it.

    The Free Software Foundation (the guys from the GPL) states that "free" must be seen as a matter of liberty, not price. Again: you're free to distribute all you want, you're free to charge for it all you want, you're free to modify all you want.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,914
    Originally posted here by Negative
    I think your definition of Open Source is a little off...

    The Open Source Initiative states that you can sell your code, and even that you cannot “stop someone else from selling your code as well.”
    http://www.opensource.org/advocacy/faq.php
    Nothing illegal about distributing it there... not even about selling it.

    The Free Software Foundation (the guys from the GPL) states that "free" must be seen as a matter of liberty, not price. Again: you're free to distribute all you want, you're free to charge for it all you want, you're free to modify all you want.
    That's assuming you are using their licensing schemes.... as for FSF that'd be the GPL... If you're looking at the OSI then it has to be a license that meets the OSD and their rules... Just because you are releasing the source, doesn't mean you have to use one of the licenses that meets the OSD (Open Source Definition). That's the problem, people get caught up on one sense of the definition and don't accept that there are other licenses and extentions to those that exist.


    An example would be the Apache license which is BSD + it's own conditions...

    It basically says you can redistribute it under the Apache name, but you can't resell it... That's different from both OSI and FSF.... I'm sorry but ATM i can't find an example of open source but you can't distribute the source.. I'll find one later when I have more time.

    [edit]
    This basically sums up what I was getting at -- http://www.freenix.no/arkiv/daemonnews/199905/gpl.html

    Somewhere in between those two extremes lies "open source" software. Open source software is copyrighted, so it is not public-domain. But the source code is made available, usually (but not always) free of charge. It does not suffer from the restrictive licensing of the Microsoft-style programs, in which you must pay large sums of money to use a program that may or may not work correctly.
    [/edit]

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Yes
    Posts
    4,424
    Considering that around 80% of all open source software uses the GPL license, wouldn't it be safe to say that your statement that "distributing it violates the license" is wrong? Here's what GPL says "open source" stands for:

    Rights:
    - Modify all you want
    - Distribute all you want
    - Redistribute all you want
    - Sell all you want, for whatever price you want

    Obligations:
    - If you release/distribute: do so under the GPL
    - If you release/distribute: provide source code

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,914
    Originally posted here by Negative
    Considering that around 80% of all open source software uses the GPL license, wouldn't it be safe to say that your statement that "distributing it violates the license" is wrong? Here's what GPL says "open source" stands for:
    My distributing it violates the license falls in with the sentence before that states that certain companies require you pay for it and then recieve it.

    Not in the same manner as above, but a good example would be MySQL.... It's open source software, but they do release the same software under a commercial license.. and charge for it.

    I agree that the majority of open source software is free, but there's no law that says if you're releasing the source it has to be free... Those are just the primarily used licenses that say that, or that say it has to be free for distribution. I'm saying there are exceptions to that...

    I'm basically sick of seeing people (multiple members of this site, and members of mailing lists) that think that Open source automatically means free and Closed Source automatically means you pay for it... That's not the truth.

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Yes
    Posts
    4,424
    I'm basically sick of seeing people (multiple members of this site, and members of mailing lists) that think that Open source automatically means free and Closed Source automatically means you pay for it... That's not the truth.
    Absolutely correct. It's often true, but they're not synonyms at all...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,914
    Originally posted here by Negative
    Absolutely correct. It's often true, but they're not synonyms at all...
    Alrighty, as long as we agree on that, I'm happy....

    Btw here's an example of the software I was talking about http://www.idautomation.com/labelsoftware/ <-- when you buy there software, they give you the source code as well so that you can use it, but you can't redistribute it or resell it, but you can sell applications you create using it. To me that's open source... not the OSI or FSF definition, but still open source in my books. I guess it's all on how you look at it.

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    1,130
    For a quick example of an open source application, which does not grant the right to either modify or redistribute the code, look at PGP 8. It is free and source code is readily available, but not for redistribution or modification.

    To my knowldge, the commercial versions of PGP also make source code available, but with the same restrictions. The source code is released so that it may be reviewed by the community for vulnerabilities and backdoors, not for modification and redistribution.

    PGP is released open source, but is not a follower of the Open Source Initiative.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

    Join the UnError community!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •