Placing legal or practical restrictions on the comprehension or modification of a program, such as mandatory purchase of special licenses, signing of a Non-Disclosure-Agreement (NDA) or - for programming languages that have multiple forms or representation - making the preferred human way of comprehending and editing a program ("source code") inaccessible also makes it proprietary (non-free). Without the freedom to modify a program, people will remain at the mercy of a single vendor.
Getting you and your business featured in the media is a great way to attract new prospects. All you need to do is a little public relations to make it happen. Keep an eye out for opportunities where your business can be a part of an interesting, informative, or entertaining news piece. Publish press releases and pitch these ideas to local journalists and news organizations to see if they get picked up.
Currently, many people use proprietary software that denies users these freedoms and benefits. If we make a copy and give it to a friend, if we try to figure out how the program works, if we put a copy on more than one of our own computers in our own home, we could be caught and fined or put in jail. That’s what’s in the fine print of the license agreement you accept when using proprietary software.
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This is the original call to the community to start using the term ‘open source‘ that I issued on 8 February 1998. The event referred to in the first paragraph is the 23 January announcement of the Mozilla source code release. Because this is a historic document, I have fixed some link drift but haven't re-styled it to match the rest of my site. Though it has been converted to XHTML rather than HTML classic, except for this gray box and the RCS date at the bottom it looks pretty much exactly as it did then. There are Spanish and Indonesian translations of this document.
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