Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)1 represents a new and growing phenomenon, which is much discussed these days as it implies a radically new method of production, cooperation and exchange. In this introduction we argue that Open Source Software (OSS) besides its technical advantages has a special importance in the context of development cooperation.
The philosophy behind OSS
The knowledge that is embedded in operating systems and software programmes to make them run, also known as the source code, can be either 'closed' and 'proprietary', or 'open', that is public and shared. FLOSS is a software which has its source code available, that may be used, copied, and distributed with or without modifications, and that may be offered either with or without a fee.
Although the open source movement goes back to almost forty years,
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