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Internet Governance Glossary


4.19 Open source

Development model referring to the design of products and their components which then can be reproduced free of charge thus promoting a universal access via an open license to a product's design or blueprint, and, depending on the license, universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.


Open source is the core concept of the open source culture with its open design movement resulting among others in free and open-source hardware and free and open-source software.
Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community or released to the public under some license. The term Open Source is also widely used referring to the design of products, such as objects, which then can be reproduced free of charge in accordance to the licence.