Because of a recent topic on the forum and because of a similar one earlier ( AutoIt3 versus AutoHotKey
I thought it would be appropriate to open a discussion on the definitions of “Open Source Software”, “Free Software” and the different thinking about each movement and what it means.
Some background: Why "Free Software'' is better than "Open Source’’ Open-source Vs closed-source
I believe that it is worth discussing the, well intentioned, decision to go open source and what the unintended consequences could be.
For instance if someone decides to open source a project with the intention of allowing others to come along and modify and change that code for the benefit of the project. Should they then have the expectation that their code be confined to that project only or does it become "free range" code? Available for any use anyone wants to make of it ,for example a competing project or even one completely unrelated to the original?
Do people really think through their decision to allow their project to become open source and then have a presumption to absolute ownership of their code if it is used in a manner they don't agree with?
How much credit to the original author is enough?
Is open source a good idea? Or should there be more consideration before deciding open source.
Is closed source underutilized?
This discussion could be helpful for people who may want to consider starting an open source project by possibly pointing out any pitfalls and problems with this kind of licensing.
*Keep in mind that the mentioning of Autoit and AHK is not intended to point them out specifically but to only use as an example of the possible problems with open source. This discussion is not an attack on any specific project but hopefully a serious discussion of the inherent problems with different licensing schemes.