About software and copyright¶
- software product
An intellectual work consisting of a set of source files that may, after having been compiled, run on a computer to make it provide a given set of functionalities.
- copyright holder
The legal or natural person who wrote the source files of a software product and published them. Modified or unmodified copies of the source files may be used only with permission of the copyright holder who usually specifies a license that regulates how his work may be used.
- proprietary license
- product carrier
The legal or natural person who carries and governs the usage of a software product and represents the community of its users. He invests into development, maintenance and marketing of the product. He decides about the product’s lifetime, usage conditions, functionalities and priorities of development. He can delegate parts of his work to external service providers.
- free software license
When publishing a software product under a free license, the copyright holder explicitly renounces from controlling usage rights on the product. Such a product may be used by anybody as a base for derived work. This is why the product carrier of a free software product is legally not defined. Free software belongs to nobody, because it belongs to everybody.