What is FOSS? Why should anyone support it?

Fri, 15 Mar 2013, by Josh Maines

FOSS is short form of Free Open Source Software. At this point, you may be thinking, "Wait, isn't open source always free?" The answer is simply no. Free is a relative term and can have multiple meanings depending on what context it is used in. In the case of open source projects, you are always free to openly share the source code, but that is the only right you are definitely permitted. Free open source refers to another set of rights, the freedom to redistribute commercial products based on the open source project. It also means being free of viral licensing requirements, like being obligated to share the source code of something that is based on an open source project.

If you support FOSS, you support freedom. It is as simple as that. Of course, you also support good will toward others. FOSS projects are shared with everyone, everywhere, with no discrimination. Such an attitude toward software development helps society as a whole to progress technology and improve the stock of educational material available to those who are interested in learning new skills.

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