Open Source Initiative

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The Open Source Initiative is a non-profit organisation that promotes and advocates the benefits of open source software. The OSI also provides a definition for open source software. To be open source, software must meet the following criteria:

1. Free Redistribution

The license must not restrict the software from being sold or given away as part of an aggregate software distribution. The software must not require any fees or royalties for redistribution.

2. Source Code

The program must come with source code, or the source code must be easy to obtain - preferably by downloading from the internet for no cost. Source code must be in the form in which a programmer can modify the program and must not be deliberately unclear.

3. Derived Works

The license must allow modifications or derived works of the software that can be distributed under the same terms as the original.

4. Integrity of the Author's Source Code

The license can only restrict the redistribution of the source code if it allows the distribution of 'patch files' with the source code. Software built from modified source code must be explicitly allowed, though the license may require derived works to have a different name or version number to the original.

5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from using the software in a particular field of endeavor.

7. Distribution License

The rights applied to the software must apply to all to whom the software is redistributed.

8. License Must Not Be Specific To A Product

The rights attached to the program must not be dependent on the program being part of a particular software distribution.

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software

The license must not restrict any other software which is distributed or redistributed along with the licensed open source software.

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral

The license must not be predicated on a particular technology or interface.