Proprietary software is
|Open Licenses||Non-Open Licenses|
|Public domain & equivalents||
|Copyleft (protective license)||Noncommercial license||
|JRL, AFPL||proprietary software, no public license||private, internal software|
|Other creative works||PD,
|Copyright, no public license||unpublished|
Until the late 1960s computers—large and expensive mainframe computers, machines in specially air-conditioned computer rooms—were usually leased to customers rather than sold. Service and all software available were usually supplied by manufacturers without separate charge until 1969. Computer vendors usually provided the source code for installed software to customers. Customers who developed software often made it available to others without charge. Closed source means computer programs whose source code is not published except to licensees. It is available to be edited only by the organization that developed it and those licensed to use the software.
In 1969, IBM, which had
According to Brewster Kahle the legal characteristic of software changed also due to the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.
Starting in February 1983 IBM adopted an "object-code-only" model for a growing list of their software and stopped shipping much of the source code, even to licensees.
In 1983, binary software became copyrightable in the United States as well by the Apple vs. Franklin law decision, before which only source code was copyrightable. Additionally, the growing availability of millions of computers based on the same microprocessor architecture created for the first time an unfragmented and big enough market for binary distributed software.
The hallmark of proprietary software licenses is that the software publisher grants the use of one or more copies of software under the end-user license agreement (EULA), but ownership of those copies remains with the software publisher (hence use of the term "proprietary"). This feature of proprietary software licenses means that certain rights regarding the software are reserved by the software publisher. Therefore, it is typical of EULAs to include terms which define the uses of the software, such as the number of installations allowed or the terms of distribution.
The most significant effect of this form of licensing is that, if ownership of the software remains with the software publisher, then the end-user must accept the software license. In other words, without acceptance of the license, the end-user may not use the software at all. One example of such a proprietary software license is the license for Microsoft Windows. As is usually the case with proprietary software licenses, this license contains an extensive list of activities which are restricted, such as: reverse engineering, simultaneous use of the software by multiple users, and publication of benchmarks or performance tests.
There are numerous types of licensing models, varying from simple perpetual licenses and floating licenses (also known as concurrent licenses) to more advanced models such as the metered license. The most common licensing models are per single user (named user, client, node) or per user in the appropriate volume discount level, while some manufacturers accumulate existing licenses. These open volume license programs are typically called open license program (OLP), transactional license program (TLP),
Software licensing often also includes maintenance. This, usually with a term of one year, is either included or optional, but must often be bought with the software. The maintenance agreement (contract) typically contains a clause that allows the licensee to receive minor updates (V.1.1 => 1.2), and sometimes major updates (V.1.2 => 2.0). This option is usually called update insurance or upgrade assurance. For a major update, the customer has to buy an upgrade, if it is not included in the maintenance agreement. For a maintenance renewal, some manufacturers charge a reinstatement (reinstallment) fee retroactively per month, in the event that the current maintenance has expired.
Maintenance sometimes includes technical support. When it does, the level of technical support, which are commonly named gold, silver and bronze, can vary depending on the communication method (i.e. e-mail versus telephone support), availability (e.g. 5x8, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day) and reaction time (e.g. three hours). Support is also licensed per incident as an incident pack (e.g. five support incidents per year).Many manufacturers offer special conditions for schools and government agencies (EDU/GOV license). Migration from another product (crossgrade), even from a different manufacturer (competitive upgrade) is offered.
Most of the software is covered by copyright which, along with contract law, patents, and trade secrets, provides legal basis for its owner to establish exclusive rights.
Since license agreements do not override applicable copyright law or contract law, provisions in conflict with applicable law are not enforceable. Some software is specifically licensed and not sold, in order to avoid limitations of copyright such as the first-sale doctrine.
The owner of proprietary software exercises certain exclusive rights over the software. The owner can restrict the use, inspection of source code, modification of source code, and redistribution.
Use of the software
Vendors typically limit the number of computers on which software can be used, and prohibit the user from installing the software on extra computers. Restricted use is sometimes enforced through a technical measure, such as product activation, a product key or serial number, a hardware key, or copy protection.
Vendors may also distribute versions that remove particular features, or versions which allow only certain fields of endeavor, such as non-commercial, educational, or non-profit use.
Use restrictions vary by license:
- Windows Vista Starteris restricted to running a maximum of three concurrent applications.
- The retail edition of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007is limited to non-commercial use on up to three devices in one household.
- Home Editiondisables features present in Windows XP Professional.
- Traditionally, Adobe licenses are limited to one user, but allow the user to install a second copy on a home computer or laptop.This is no longer true with the switching to Creative Cloud.
- iWork '09, Apple's productivity suite, is available in a five-user family pack, for use on up to five computers in a household.
Inspection and modification of source code
Vendors typically distribute proprietary software in compiled form, usually the machine language understood by the computer's central processing unit. They typically retain the source code, or human-readable version of the software, often written in a higher level programming language. This scheme is often referred to as closed source.
While most proprietary software is distributed without the source code, some vendors distribute the source code or otherwise make it available to customers. For example, users who have purchased a license for the Internet forum software
Some governments fear that proprietary software may include
Governments have also been accused of adding such malware to software themselves. According to documents released by
Software vendors sometimes use
Proprietary software vendors can prohibit the users from sharing the software with others. Another unique license is required for another party to use the software.
In the case of proprietary software with source code available, the vendor may also prohibit customers from distributing their modifications to the source code.
Shareware is closed-source software whose owner encourages redistribution at no cost, but which the user sometimes must pay to use after a trial period. The fee usually allows use by a single user or computer. In some cases, software features are restricted during or after the trial period, a practice sometimes called crippleware.
Interoperability with software and hardware
Proprietary file formats and protocols
Proprietary software often stores some of its data in file formats that are incompatible with other software, and may also communicate using protocols which are incompatible. Such formats and protocols may be restricted as trade secrets or subject to patents.
The European Commission, in its March 24, 2004, decision on Microsoft's business practices, quotes, in paragraph 463, Microsoft general manager for C++ development Aaron Contorer as stating in a February 21, 1997, internal Microsoft memo drafted for Bill Gates:
- The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional that most ISVs would be crazy not to use it. And it is so deeply embedded in the source code of many Windows apps that there is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system instead.
Early versions of the iPhone SDK were covered by a non-disclosure agreement. The agreement forbade independent developers from discussing the content of the interfaces. Apple discontinued the NDA in October 2008.
Any dependency on the future versions and upgrades for a proprietary software package can create vendor lock-in, entrenching a monopoly position.
Software limited to certain hardware configurations
Proprietary software may also have licensing terms that limit the usage of that software to a specific set of hardware. Apple has such a licensing model for macOS, an operating system which is limited to Apple hardware, both by licensing and various design decisions. This licensing model has been affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Abandonment by proprietors
Proprietary software which is no longer marketed, supported or sold by its owner is called
Some proprietary software is released by their owner at
Pricing and economics
Proprietary software is not synonymous with commercial software, although the two terms are sometimes used synonymously in articles about free software. Proprietary software can be distributed at no cost or for a fee, and free software can be distributed at no cost or for a fee. The difference is that whether proprietary software can be distributed, and what the fee would be, is at the proprietor's discretion. With free software, anyone who has a copy can decide whether, and how much, to charge for a copy or related services.
Proprietary software that comes for no cost is called freeware.
Proponents of commercial proprietary software argue that requiring users to pay for software as a product increases funding or time available for the research and development of software. For example, Microsoft says that per-copy fees maximize the profitability of software development.
Proprietary software generally creates greater commercial activity over free software, especially in regard to market revenues. Proprietary software is often sold with a license that gives the end user right to use the software.
Examples of proprietary software include Microsoft Windows, Adobe Flash Player, PS3 OS, Orbis OS, iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Google Earth, macOS (formerly Mac OS X and OS X), Skype, WinRAR, Oracle's version of Java, Huawei's HarmonyOS and some versions of Unix.
Software distributions considered as proprietary may in fact incorporate a "mixed source" model including both free and non-free software in the same distribution.
Some free software packages are also simultaneously available under proprietary terms. Examples include
- ^ ISBN 978-93-5199-877-8. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- ^ AUUG, Inc. (March 2003). "Chapter 1. Definitions". AUUGN. AUUG, Inc. p. 51. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
Ceruzzi, Paul E. (2003). A History of Modern Computing. Cambridge, MA: ISBN 0-262-53203-4.
Although IBM agreed to sell its machines as part of a Consent Decree effective January 1956, leasing continued to be its preferred way of doing business.then everyone started fighting
- ^ "The History of Equipment Leasing", Lease Genie, archived from the original on April 11, 2008, retrieved November 12, 2010,
In the 1960s, IBM and Xerox recognized that substantial sums could be made from the financing of their equipment. The leasing of computer and office equipment that occurred then was a significant contribution to leasings [sic] growth, since many companies were exposed to equipment leasing for the first time when they leased such equipment.
- ^ "Overview of the GNU System". GNU Operating System. Free Software Foundation. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
- ^ Hamilton, Thomas W. (1969). IBM's Unbundling Decision: Consequences for Users and the Industry. Programming Sciences Corporation.
- ^ IBM (n.d.). "Chronological History of IBM: 1960s". Retrieved May 28, 2016.
Rather than offer hardware, services and software exclusively in packages, marketers 'unbundled' the components and offered them for sale individually. Unbundling gave birth to the multibillion-dollar software and services industries, of which IBM is today a world leader.
- ^ Gates, Bill (February 3, 1976). "An Open Letter to Hobbyists". Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- ^ Swann, Matthew (18 November 2004). Executable Code is Not the Proper Subject of Copyright Law (Technical report). Cal Poly State University. CPSLO-CSC-04-02.
- JSTOR 1372418
- ^ Robert X. Cringely's interview with Brewster Kahle, 46th minute
- ^ Cantrill, Bryan (2014-09-17). "Corporate Open Source Anti-patterns". YouTube. Archived from the original (video) on 2021-10-27. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
- ^ Gallant, John (1985-03-18). "IBM policy draws fire - Users say source code rules hamper change". Computerworld. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
While IBM's policy of withholding source code for selected software products has already marked its second anniversary, users are only now beginning to cope with the impact of that decision. But whether or not the advent of object-code-only products has affected their day-to-day DP operations, some users remain angry about IBM's decision. Announced in February 1983, IBM's object-code-only policy has been applied to a growing list of Big Blue system software products
- ^ Impact of Apple vs. Franklin Decision
- ^ a b Landley, Rob (2009-05-23). "23-05-2009". landley.net. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
So if open source used to be the norm back in the 1960s and 70s, how did this _change_? Where did proprietary software come from, and when, and how? How did Richard Stallman's little utopia at the MIT AI lab crumble and force him out into the wilderness to try to rebuild it? Two things changed in the early 80s: the exponentially growing installed base of microcomputer hardware reached critical mass around 1980, and a legal decision altered copyright law to cover binaries in 1983. Increasing volume: The microprocessor creates millions of identical computers
- ^ a b c Scholten, Thomas. "Software Licensing". Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Richmond Journal of Law and Technology. 1: 4. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- ^ Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright and Neighbouring Rights in the Digital Environment: An International Library Perspective (2004). IFLA (2013-01-22). Retrieved on 2013-06-16.
- ^ Daniel A. Tysver (2008-11-23). "Why Protect Software Through Patents". Bitlaw. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
In connection with the software, an issued patent may prevent others from utilizing a certain algorithm (such as the GIF image compression algorithm) without permission, or may prevent others from creating software programs that perform a function in a certain way. In connection with computer software, copyright law can be used to prevent the total duplication of a software program, as well as the copying of a portion of software code.
- S2CID 19873766.
Essentially there are only three ways to protect computer software under the law: patent it, register a copyright for it, or keep it as a trade secret.
- ^ Eben Moglen (2005-02-12). "Why the FSF gets copyright assignments from contributors". Retrieved 2017-05-01.
Under US copyright law, which is the law under which most free software programs have historically been first published, [...] only the copyright holder or someone having assignment of the copyright can enforce the license.
- ^ White, Aoife (2012-07-03). "Oracle Can't Stop Software License Resales, EU Court Says". Bloomberg.
- Microsoft Corporation (2005-04-01). "End-User License Agreement for Microsoft Software: Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition Service Pack 2" (PDF). Microsoft. p. Page 3. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- Microsoft Corporation (2005-04-01). "End-User License Agreement for Microsoft Software: Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition Service Pack 2" (PDF). Microsoft. p. Page 1. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Software on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or another device ("Workstation Computer"). The Software may not be used by more than two (2) processors at any one time on any single Workstation Computer. ... You may permit a maximum of ten (10) computers or other electronic devices (each a 'Device') to connect to the Workstation Computer to utilize one or more of the following services of the Software: File Services, Print Services, Internet Information Services, Internet Connection Sharing and telephony services.
- Adobe Systems, Adobe Software License Agreement(PDF), retrieved 2010-06-09
- ^ Parker, Jason (January 27, 2009). "Apple iWork '09 review: Apple iWork '09". CNET. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- JSTOR 1229351. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
Under the proprietary software model, most software developers withhold their source code from users.
- ^ David A. Wheeler (2009-02-03). "Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS) is Commercial Software". Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- ^ "DISTRIBUTION OF IBM LICENSED PROGRAMS AND LICENSED PROGRAM MATERIALS AND MODIFIED AGREEMENT FOR IBM LICENSED PROGRAMS". Announcement Letters. IBM. February 8, 1983. 283-016.
- ^ Greg Mushial (July 20, 1983), "Module 24: SLAC Enhancements to and Beautifications of the IBM H-Level Assembler for Version 2.8", SLAC VM NOTEBOOK, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
- ^ Shankland, Stephen (January 30, 2003). "Governments to see Windows code". CNET. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- ^ Gao, Ken (February 28, 2003). "China to view Windows code". CNET. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- ^ James Ball, Julian Borger and Glenn Greenwald (2013-09-06). "US and UK spy agencies defeat privacy and security on the internet". The Guardian.
- ^ Bruce Schneier (2013-09-06). "How to remain secure against NSA surveillance". The Guardian.
- ^ "Code Obfuscation: A Comprehensive Guide Against Reverse-Engineering Attempts". AppSealing. 2021-10-14. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
- ^ a b Orenstein, David (January 10, 2000). "Application Programming Interface". Computerworld. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- ^ "Commission Decision of 24.03.2004 relating to a proceeding under Article 82 of the EC Treaty (Case COMP/C-3/37.792 Microsoft)" (PDF). European Commission. March 24, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
- ^ Wilson, Ben (2008-10-01). "Apple Drops NDA for Released iPhone Software". CNET. Archived from the original on 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
- ^ The Linux Information Project (2006-04-29). "Vendor Lock-in Definition". Retrieved 2009-06-11.
Vendor lock-in, or just lock-in, is the situation in which customers are dependent on a single manufacturer or supplier for some product [...] This dependency is typically a result of standards that are controlled by the vendor [...] It can grant the vendor some extent of monopoly power [...] The best way for an organization to avoid becoming a victim of vendor lock-in is to use products that conform to free, industry-wide standards. Free standards are those that can be used by anyone and are not controlled by a single company. In the case of computers, this can usually be accomplished by using free software rather than proprietary software (i.e., commercial software).
- ^ Don Reisinger (2011-09-29). "Apple wins key battle against Psystar over Mac clones". Retrieved 2022-05-02.
- ^ "What happens when a proprietary software company dies?". Linux. October 24, 2003. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- ^ Livingston, Brian (December 15, 2006). "Microsoft Turns Up The Heat On Windows 2000 Users". CRN. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- ^ Cassia, Fernando (March 28, 2007). "Open Source, the only weapon against 'planned obsolescence'". The Inquirer. Linux Today. Archived from the original on January 20, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- ^ Bell, John (October 1, 2009). "Opening the Source of Art". John P. Bell. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
[...]that no further patches to the title would be forthcoming. The community was predictably upset. Instead of giving up on the game, users decided that if Activision wasn't going to fix the bugs, they would. They wanted to save the game by getting Activision to open the source so it could be kept alive beyond the point where Activision lost interest. With some help from members of the development team that were active on fan forums, they were eventually able to convince Activision to release Call to Power II's source code in October of 2003.
- ^ Wen, Howard (June 10, 2004). "Keeping the Myths Alive". Linux Dev Center. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
[...]fans of the Myth trilogy have taken this idea a step further: they have official access to the source code for the Myth games. Organized under the name MythDevelopers, this all-volunteer group of programmers, artists, and other talented people devote their time to improving and supporting further development of the Myth game series.
- ^ Largent, Andy (October 8, 2003). "Homeworld Source Code Released". Inside Mac Games. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
With the release of Homeworld 2 for the PC, Relic Entertainment has decided to give back to their impressive fan community by releasing the source code to the original Homeworld.
- ISBN 978-0-13-148787-1.
- ^ Havoc Pennington (2008-03-02). "Debian Tutorial". Retrieved 2009-06-04.
It is important to distinguish commercial software from proprietary software. Proprietary software is non-free software, while commercial software is software sold for money.
- ^ Russell McOrmond (2000-01-04). "What is "Commercial Software"?". Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- ^ Michael K. Johnson (1996-09-01). "Licenses and Copyright". Retrieved 2009-06-16.
If you program for Linux, you do need to understand licensing, no matter if you are writing free software or commercial software.
- ^ Eric S. Raymond (2003-12-29). "Proprietary, Jargon File". Retrieved 2009-06-12.
Proprietary software should be distinguished from commercial software. It is possible for the software to be commercial [...] without being proprietary. The reverse is also possible, for example in binary-only freeware.
- ^ "Selling Free Software". GNU Project.
- ^ "The Commercial Software Model". Microsoft. May 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05.
- ^ Open Source Versus Commercial Software: Why Proprietary Software is Here to Stay. Sams Publishing. October 2005. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
- ^ Engelfriet, Arnoud (August–September 2006). "The best of both worlds". Intellectual Asset Management (IAM). Gavin Stewart (19). Archived from the original on 2013-09-14. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- ^ Loftus, Jack (2007-02-19). "Managing mixed source software stacks". LinuxWorld. Archived from the original on 2010-06-03.
- ^ Tan, Aaron (2006-12-28). "Novell: We're a 'mixed-source' company". CNET Networks, Inc.
- ISBN 0-7645-4660-0.
- ^ "Categories of Free and Non-Free Software". GNU Project.
- ^ Free Software Foundation (2009-05-05). "Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses". Retrieved 2017-05-01.
- ^ Richard Stallman (2004-04-12). "Free But Shackled - The Java Trap". Retrieved 2017-05-01.
- Media related to Proprietary softwareat Wikimedia Commons