English Italian (it_IT)
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Long before the term "Open Source" was used, software was developed by loose associations of programmers and freely exchanged. Starting in the early 1950's, organizations such as http://www.share.org[SHARE] and http://www.decus.org[DECUS] developed much of the software that computer hardware companies bundled with their hardware offerings. At that time computer companies were in the hardware business; anything that reduced software cost and made more programs available made the hardware companies more competitive.
Do not confuse the new BSD license with "public domain". While an item in the public domain is also free for all to use, it has no owner.
"This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs."<<one>>
The http://www.opensource.org/licenses/gpl-license.php[GPL] is a complex license so here are some rules of thumb when using the GPL:
[[[one,1]]] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html
[[[two,2]]] http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/03/28/cyberpatrol.mirrors/
[[[three,3]]] Open Source: the Unauthorized White Papers, Donald K. Rosenberg, IDG Books, 2000. Quotes are from page 114, "Effects of the GNU GPL".
[[[four,4]]] In the "What License to Use?" section of http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/brian.html
This whitepaper is a condensation of an original work available at http://alumni.cse.ucsc.edu/~brucem/open_source_license.htm