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View Diary: Open Source: FAQ (36 comments)

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  •  proprietary generally means a single system (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fareast, plf515

    For instance, a windows proprietary program will run on windows only.  It could be open source or closed source.  A non-proprietary program can run on many hardware systems.  For instance, a perl or php script would be non-proprietary.  Also, any program that can be compiled and run on many different hardware system can be non-proprietary.

    Open source means the source code is available and that anyone can look at it.  Generally, one can't take the source code and sell it to someone else, but that is up to the copyright holder.

    At least that is my understanding.

    everybody love somebody...

    by toys on Sun Jul 15, 2007 at 08:04:02 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Patenting a Process (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fareast, plf515, toys

      One example to help people understand the issues is that of patenting not just code but a 'process'.

      Apparently some German company has a patent on opening and closing MP3 files.

      That means the if a programmer writes code that is entirely his or her own for opening and closing MP3's and distributes it for free, they are violating a patent.

      That is why distros like Fedora don't include an MP3 player out of the box.

      •  everything is patented (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I would think the MP3 file opening could be easily worked around.  Simply create a process for opening 'any' kind of file, not specific to mp3.  Or open the file with caching, or whatever, but that would depend on the patent.

        The 'idea' of using a card and connecting to a server has been patented since the 70s.

        Just about everything that you can point to as an idea has been patented.

        Walk into a store and see a cashier?  Patented.

        Send an email with your bank balance?  Patented.

        But I think as long as you don't get famous or make money on it, the lawyers will leave you alone since it isn't worth their time.  I hope so anyway!

        everybody love somebody...

        by toys on Sun Jul 15, 2007 at 10:43:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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