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Encyclopedia > Proprietary software

Proprietary software is software with restrictions on copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor. Restrictions on modification and copying are sought by either legal or technical means and sometimes both. Technical means include releasing machine-readable binaries to users and withholding the human-readable source code. Legal means can involve software licensing, copyright, and patent law. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ... Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... The text below is generated by a template, which has been proposed for deletion. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... Proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties. ... Computer files can be divided into two broad categories: binary and text. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ... A software license is a legal agreement which may take the form of a proprietary or gratuitous license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software. ... Not to be confused with copywriting. ... For other uses, see Patent (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Details

Exclusive legal rights to software by a proprietor are not required for software to be proprietary, since public domain software and software under a permissive license can become proprietary software by distributing compiled versions of the program without making the source code available. Proprietary software's restrictions make it an antonym of free software. For free software, the same laws used by proprietary software are used to preserve the freedoms to use, copy and modify the software. Proprietary software includes freeware and shareware. It can be commercial software, but public domain and all other free software can also be sold for a price and be used for commercial purposes. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Public-domain equivalent licenses offer many of the same freedoms as releasing a work to the public domain. ... A diagram of the operation of a typical multi-language, multi-target compiler. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... The term Freeware refers to gratis proprietary software with closed source. ... Look up shareware in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Commercial software is computer software sold for commercial purposes or that serves commercial purposes. ...


According to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), proprietary software is any software that does not meet its definitions of free software or semi-free software. The term's literal legal meaning covers software that has an owner who exercises control over what users can do with it. FSF's GNU General Public License asserts that the restrictions of free software offer computer users freedom while the restrictions of other software benefit only the owner and are unethical.[1] The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... Semi-free software, as defined by the Free Software Foundation, is software that is not free software, but comes with permission for individuals to use, copy, distribute, and modify (including distribution of modified versions) for non-profit purposes. ... The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ...


Proponents of proprietary software, like Microsoft, argue that innovation is driven more quickly when it is lucrative. They claim that the best way to ensure this motivation is to tie revenue to innovation.[2] The proprietor uses a temporary monopoly with copyright and sometimes software patents that makes the software more expensive.[3] A dependency on future versions and upgrades can make the monopoly permanent without the emergence of a competing software package, a situation termed "vendor lock-in". Proprietary software is said to create greater commercial activity over free software, especially in regard to market revenues.[4] Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... This article is about the economic term. ... Not to be confused with copywriting. ... Software patent does not have a universally accepted definition. ... In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in, customer lock-in, lock-in is where a customer is dependent on a vendor for products and services and cannot move to another vendor without substantial switching costs, real and/or perceived. ...


A variety of activation or licence management systems are emerging in proprietary software that prevent copyright infringement and determine how the software is used. If the proprietor ceases to exist or for any other reason does not provide keys for activation or to unlock discontinued products, legitimate users can be unable to re-activate existing software or use other hardware. Licence Management (or Software Asset Management) names processes, which secures legal and efficient handling of software in enterprises. ...


If the proprietor of a software package should cease to exist, or decide to cease or limit production or support for a proprietary software package, recipients and users of the package can be left at a disadvantage and have no recourse if problems are found with the software. Proprietors can fail to improve and support software because of business problems.[5] Companies also end their support for a product for business and organizational planning purposes. The consequence is also tied to enticing more to upgrade and pay for newer versions.[6]


Alternative terms for proprietary software

The term non-free software is used interchangeably, roughly as often by the free software movement. FSF founder Richard Stallman sometimes uses the term "user subjugating software", while Eben Moglen sometimes talks of "unfree software". The term "non-free" is often used by Debian developers to describe any software whose license does not comply with Debian Free Software Guidelines, and use "proprietary software" specifically for non-free software that provide no source code. The Open Source Initiative prefers the term "closed source software". Proprietary software vendors usually refer to their own software as commercial software. The free software movement, also known as the free software philosophy, began in 1983 when Richard Stallman announced the GNU Project. ... Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... Eben Moglen is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, and is the founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, whose client list includes numerous pro bono clients, such as the Free Software Foundation. ... Debian is a free operating system. ... The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) are a set of guidelines that the Debian Project uses to determine whether a software license is free software license, which in turn is used to determine whether a piece of software can be included in the main, free software distribution of Debian. ... The Open Source Initiative is an organization dedicated to promoting open source software. ... The text below is generated by a template, which has been proposed for deletion. ... Commercial software is computer software sold for commercial purposes or that serves commercial purposes. ...


Also, proprietary software can also be used to refer to a software utility that solves a general problem but was developed as part of a non-free application. This utility is thus not available as a separate unit nor is it free (you need to purchase the whole package to use it).


Examples

Well known examples of proprietary software include Microsoft Windows, RealPlayer, iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS X (although the underlying Darwin system is free software), WinZip and some versions of UNIX. “Windows” redirects here. ... RealPlayer, briefly known also as RealOne Player, is a cross-platform media player by RealNetworks that plays a number of multimedia formats including MP3, MPEG-4, QuickTime, Windows Media and multiple versions of proprietary RealAudio and RealVideo formats. ... This article is about the iTunes application. ... Photoshop redirects here. ... Mac OS X (IPA: ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Darwin is a free and open source, Unix-like operating system first released by Apple Inc. ... WinZip Computing Inc. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ...


Some free software packages are also simultaneously available under proprietary terms. Examples include MySQL, Sendmail and ssh. The original copyright holders for a work of free software, even copyleft free software, can use dual-licensing to allow themselves or others to redistribute proprietary versions. Non-copyleft free software, or software distributed under a permissive free software licence, allows anyone to make proprietary redistributions. Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... MySQL (pronounced (IPA) , my S-Q-L[1]) is a multithreaded, multi-user SQL database management system (DBMS)[2] which has, according to MySQL AB, more than 10 million installations. ... Sendmail is a mail transfer agent (MTA) that is a well known project of the open source, free software and Unix communities, which is distributed both as free software and proprietary software. ... Secure Shell or SSH is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged over a secure channel between two computers. ... The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ... Copyright law permits a copyright holder to release their works under any license they choose, including multiple licenses. ... Permissive free software licences are software licences for a copyrighted work that offer many of the same freedoms as releasing a work to the public domain. ...


Some proprietary software comes with source code or provides offers to the source code. Users are free to use and even study and modify the software in these cases, but are restricted by either licenses or non-disclosure agreements from redistributing modifications or sharing the software. Examples include Pine, the Microsoft Shared source license program, and certain proprietary implementations of ssh. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also called a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), confidentiality agreement or secrecy agreement, is a legal contract between at least two parties which outlines confidential materials the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict from generalized use. ... Pine is a powerful freeware text-based e-mail client: the University of Washingtons mail user agent (Email client) its name being an acronym for: Program for Internet News & Email (or PINE Is Nolonger Elm if you so prefer. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Shared source is Microsoft’s framework for sharing computer program source code with individuals and organizations. ... Secure Shell or SSH is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged over a secure channel between two computers. ...


Shareware, like freeware, is proprietary software available at zero price, but differs in that it is free only for a trial period, after which some restriction is imposed or it is completely disabled. Look up shareware in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The term Freeware refers to gratis proprietary software with closed source. ...


Proprietary software which is no longer marketed by its owner and is used without permission by users is called abandonware and may include source code. Some abandonware has its source code placed in the public domain either by its author or copyright holder and is therefore free software, not proprietary software. Abandonware is widely thought to be computer software that is no longer current. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


Software hoarding

"Software hoarding" is a pejorative term for the act of keeping software proprietary. This can cause interoperability problems and can lead to vendor lock-in, and can restrict the free sharing of knowledge. The practice is legal in most countries unless restricted by copyright or license. Some proponents of free software consider the practice immoral, and it was the impetus for the creation of "copyleft" licenses. Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in, customer lock-in, lock-in is where a customer is dependent on a vendor for products and services and cannot move to another vendor without substantial switching costs, real and/or perceived. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ...


The term was coined by Richard Stallman in 1984 as a derisive critique of Symbolics, Inc., a company he actively opposed. While employed at MIT, Stallman had worked on a Lisp interpreter as part of the Lisp machine project. An agreement between MIT and Symbolics allowed Symbolics to use the code, and required the company to let the university review changes to it, but did not give the university rights to the changes themselves. Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... A screenshot of the sophisticated debugger on a Symbolics MacIvory machine. ... “MIT” redirects here. ... Lisp is a family of computer programming languages with a long history and a distinctive fully-parenthesized syntax. ... In computer science, an interpreter is a computer program that executes, or performs, instructions written in a computer programming language. ... The original Lisp machine built by Greenblatt and Knight Lisp machines were general-purpose computers designed (usually through hardware support) to efficiently run Lisp as their main software language. ...


See also

The legal aspects of technology involve many different terms. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

References

  1. ^ The GNU Project. Free Software Foundation (May 2005). Retrieved on 2006-06-09.
  2. ^ The Commercial Software Model. Microsoft (May 2001). Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
  3. ^ In defense of proprietary software. ZDNet (December 2003). Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
  4. ^ Open Source Versus Commercial Software: Why Proprietary Software is Here to Stay. Sams Publishing (October 2005). Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
  5. ^ What happens when a proprietary software company dies?. NewsForge (October 2003). Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
  6. ^ Microsoft Turns Up The Heat On Windows 2000 Users. InformationWeek (December 2006). Retrieved on 2007-03-05.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Proprietary software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (419 words)
Proprietary software is software that has restrictions on using and copying it, usually enforced by a proprietor.
The term is used by the Free Software Foundation to describe software that is not free software or semi-free software.
Proprietary software that has a copyright that isn't enforced but is used illegally by users is called "abandonware" and may include source code.
Proprietary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (229 words)
Proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties.
In the colonial era, a (notably British) monarch could, as a form of indirect rule, grant proprietary rights to individuals over a proprietary colony, in which the proprietors (sometimes styled Lords Proprietors) were given exclusive control, not just ownership under private law, or to a chartered company.
Proprietary software is not free software or open source software as end-users generally do not have the ability to:
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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