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Open source software is software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. Open source code evolves through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as very large companies.

Open source software is software distributed under an open source license. Such a license specifially allow anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. There are dozens of open source licenses. To determine whether a particular license should be considered an Open Source License, the Open Source Initiative has created an Open Source Definition.

Open source code often, but not always, evolves through community cooperation.

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