Open-source software (OSS) is software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. Open-source code can evolve through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as large companies. Some of the individual programmers who start an open-source project may end up establishing companies offering products or services incorporating open-source programs.
Open-source software is often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated contentor (legally defined) open-content movements.