“The use of open source technology within the investment banking industry is more common than you’d think. Its use was picking up pace last year – with JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital markets all participating in open source tech projects.
Open source technology is an often-misused term; too often, users often think open source is synonymous with free. With the relatively recent rise of the Internet’s influence on production and development of software, open source has become a popular vehicle to obtain widespread use and support of some very popular software titles. In this article, we’ll discuss a definition of open source technology and its relationship with software such as the Linux operating system.
A Definition of Open Source
Open source technology is defined as the production and development philosophy of allowing end users and developers to not only see the source code of software, but modify it as well. The Linux operating system is a one of the best-known examples of open source software technology.
The Linux operating system’s open source paradigm is in direct contrast to Microsoft’s approach to development and production of its popular Windows operating system. Unlike Linux, Windows is built on a closed source paradigm that does not allow the end user the ability to see or edit the code that makes up the operating system. In fact, certain aspects of the end-user license for the Windows operating system specifically forbids the end user from attempting to view or modify the code that makes up the software. Such attempts are often known as reverse engineering or reverse compiling.
How Open Source Works:
Although software is not the only product governed by a open source licenses, it is the most popular, lending itself well to manipulation of its code and add-ons. Open source provides a transparent platform upon which anyone with the skills to do so can add to the development and production of the software either for release as a new incarnation of the software for others to use or for strictly in-house development only.
One issue that has come up repeatedly in open source has to do with the copyrights assigned to the original software and any modifications made to it. As outlined in most open source license agreements, ownership of the software can never transfer to anyone who modifies the software. This usually makes it impossible for a developer to take open source software, modify it, and then sell it.