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ITEA Report on Open Source Software

There’s a great deal of confusion and hype around Open Source Software. There’s even a lack of unanimity about what to call it.


For example, you come across terms like “Open Software”, “Open Source Software”, “Free Software” and “Freeware”, which are used interchangeably.


It’s also clear that the potential value of Open Source Software for industry and the scientific community depends on the specific underlying business model or application.


This explains some of the differences. Technical and non-technical factors, as well as features related to the software life cycle (e.g. updates, performance, reliability and adaptability) vary from one situation to another, depending to a large extent on the “owner” of the technology.


Another critical concern from the point of view of industry is the legal position (ranging from protection of Intellectual or Industrial Property Rights to liability issues).


These considerations more or less scoped the way this report was produced. A group of Open Source experts from ITEA companies worked together to produce a report that examines the technical, business and legal problems associated with Open Source Software from the perspective of those involved in developing and exploiting embedded and distributed software.


You can order a printed version (free of charge) from the ITEA Office or download a low-resolution PDF-file