Term:open source

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The term open source is sometimes used to mean "unfettered access to information," though this actually defies its specific use in politics, journalism, software.

In software, the term open source means the Debian Open Source Guidelines which do not permit any restriction of the use of software for any purpose by any entity, but do let organizations including corporations extend and patent/copyright derived work that they need not share. Contrary to popular belief, open source software licenses do not guarantee that any improvements will be available to all users.

This guarantee is called the "share alike" or "viral reintegration" clause. All open content licenses including the GFDL used at dKosopedia:itself have this clause.

If users are required to share improvements to software with anyone without restriction, the more specific term free software applies. The Free Software Foundation maintains a list (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html) of software licenses that qualify as free software, and differentiates itself from open source. For one thing, under the Debian guidelines, pacifists writing open source software would have to share it with the DoD for free, while the DoD could spend their tax dollars extending it, and then would not be obligated to share it back with the pacifist.

In journalism, the term open source means one that anyone can read, i.e. published or otherwise available for anyone to read. This is closest to the colloquial definition but the term open content implies that it is also available for anyone else to copy for use in other works. The more specific term share-alike is used by Creative Commons to emphasize common obligations.

In medicine, open sores are usually a sign of serious trouble or a biohazard.

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