5 Differences between open-source and proprietary license

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Let us dive into the difference between open-source and proprietary license. Before that, we must know the meanings of both. Software is essential for its users and it allows them to operate a task on the computer.
Subsequently, the idea that one contradicts the other is not exactly true. This article explains the differences between the two.

Open-Source Software License

It is a computer software license. Its source code is freely available on the internet. Anyone can modify it to provide new features. Moreover, it also provides open collaboration to all which helps to design and test it.

An open-source community of developers supervises this program. We can obtain it at no cost. Furthermore, users have various benefits under this license.

It allows learning the working of the software. It also provides scope for modification and improvement of the program. Additionally, there are no limitations on its redistribution. Examples are Android, Ubuntu, Firefox, and Open Office.

Furthermore, let us talk about the other kind of software license which is proprietary license.  

Proprietary Software License 

It is computer software whose source codes are not publicly available. The firm that generated them can modify them. Only the creator or the owner of the software can produce or test it and not the general public. A small group of people or groups who created it controls this program.

You will have to pay for this software. Users get valid and authenticated to use this software by the company. However, it imposes some limitations on them.

These licenses put restrictions on software sharing. Moreover, there is a specific time limit for operating the program. You can use a limited number of features only.

Windows, macOS, Internet Explorer, Google Earth, Microsoft Office and others are examples.

Why do we need to understand the difference?

For making a better choice while choosing a license for your software, it is essential to know these 5 differences between the open-source and a proprietary software license.

5 Major Differences

Open-source software license Proprietary software license 
Open-Source software is software that has a source code available to view and edit. It is free to use, modify, and distribute. The proprietary software has a closed source code so you may not view or edit it. 
Open collaboration is promoted. It is designed for the inventor and users who have paid for it. It is not for open collaboration. 
Anyone can access it Only those who have paid for it have access to it. 
It is adaptable, meaning that anybody can use, modify, and share it. These functions cannot be performed in the proprietary license. There are limitations to its usage. 
Anyone can see its source code.  These are designed for a limited group of end-users with limited skills. They target a tiny circle of end-users. Users outside the programming community won’t even look at the source code. 
Example: FreeBSD (Berklee Software Distribution), Android, LibreOffice, and Ubuntu Example: Windows, Microsoft, macOS, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Flash Player 

To sum up, we discussed the meaning of the software and the differences between open-source and proprietary software licenses to make your software making journey hassle-free. Lastly, this will be useful for you if you are one of the creators. This is because all of us know how hard and time-consuming it is to develop software.

Therefore, it is important to know the type of license you should use.

Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope these differences will help you in deciding how you want your software to be used by others. Further, you can read a full guide on why and how to use a software license then click here. All the best and make the best choice for yourself.  

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