Open source refers to aÂ computer programÂ in which theÂ source codeÂ is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is typically a collaborative effort where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community so that other members can help improve it further. Open-source softwareÂ (OSS) isÂ computer softwareÂ with itsÂ source codeÂ made available and licensed with aÂ license in which theÂ copyrightÂ holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software is very often developed in a public,Â collaborativeÂ manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example ofÂ open-sourceÂ development and often compared to (technically defined)Â user-generated contentÂ or (legally defined)Â open-contentÂ movements.
Proprietary softwareÂ orÂ closed source softwareÂ is computer softwareÂ licensedÂ under exclusive legal right of the copyright holder with the intent that theÂ licenseeÂ is given the right to use the software only under certain conditions, and restricted from other uses, such as modification, sharing, studying, redistribution, orÂ reverse engineering. Usually the source codeÂ of proprietary software is not made available.