Open Channel Software - Licensing Policy
The Open Channel Foundation ('OCF') provides access to software that originates within academic and Federal Agency research labs, as it is made available to the public. OCF functions as a bridge for these institutions to promote the distribution of their software. The software is provided under the terms and conditions mandated by the author or governing institution, which includes the form of the license and whether a fee is charged, or not.
While the software we make available is released under several different licenses, OCF is license-neutral. Each individual institution for which we act as a distribution vehicle can place license requirements or other restrictions upon their software. Where possible, we encourage the developer to release under an open source model and remain active as the moderator of the project.
Because we do not restrict our distribution to only one form of license vehicle, software made available on the OCF site is released under a range of licenses, from public domain, open source programs to closed source, proprietary products. Each of these types of programs employs differing license requirements.
Below are the definitions used by OCF when publishing software.
Terms and Definitions
A software program that is not the subject of a copyright and available to the public either in source or binary is public domain. A license fee may or may not be required for access to the program.
[NOTE: National and state parks, which are supported via tax dollars, may have a users fee for someone who wishes to attend the park. Hence, this is a "public domain," even though a user fee is charged.]
Software programs distributed in source or binary, where the user is free to run the program, change the program or re-distribute the program with or without changes. These programs may or may not have a license fee associated with their release.
Open Source Software
Access to source code and the ability to change, modify or include the code, or a complied version of the code in a re-distributed version.