Simplistically, open source software “refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available.” Depending on the product, as with open source hardware, open source software can be licensed.
Open source software developers utilize intellectual property licensing — through various types of open source licensing agreements — in order to sustain open source project integrity. In fact, for an IT program to be classified as open source software, the object must commonly address specific criteria established through the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Interpretively, to meet the OSI Open Source Definition requires permitting: the right to make source code copies, the right to freely distribute source code copies, unrestricted access to source code, and the freedom to modify the source code.
“View Part I of the Open Source Hardware and Software Licensing series here“