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2. Closed source software

Closed software is owned by a commercial organisation.

As we discussed in the legislation section, creators receive an automatic copyright over anything they write. But since it is so easy to copy source code and take it apart to find out how it works, anyone publishing the source code to their software risks having someone else steal, modify, and sell it for themselves.


closed source software

The solution to this is to not publish the source code itself, but to compile it into a set of machine code instructions in an executable file, and sell that file to customers.

Such software is called closed source, because it is very difficult for anyone to work out what the original source code was just from looking at an executable file.

Benefits of closed source software

The commercial organisation has invested money into developing the software, often millions for major applications and they sell the product to profit from their investment. With less possibility of theft or imitation, it is much easier to make closed source software profitable.

Commercial applications tend to be quite polished compared to an equivalent "open source" application. Documentation and help tends to be better as well. After all, they want to attract as many customers as possible. Open source does not have this pressure to be as user friendly.

They also offer formal support in the form of regular software updates and perhaps direct customer support for a specific period after purchase. If the customer needs continued support, then they may be able to set up a support contract with the vendor.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: What is closed source software