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What topics can I ask about here?

Open Source Stack Exchange is a question & answer site about a group of related movements which encourage people to give up some of the rights given to them by copyright law, by using licenses which give others the freedom to use and transform their creative works, and which optionally (by using copyleft/share-alike licenses) ensure that these works will always be made available with the same rights. This site is not limited to software, but also covers art, literature, hardware, databases and more.

These movements have been spearheaded by a group of organisations: FSF, OSI, Creative Commons, Free Culture. These organisations prefer a variety of different terms (free, open source, libre) and sometimes define them with slight differences. But on this site these terms should in general be considered to be synonymous, except for questions which ask directly about their differences.

You've come to the right place if you have questions about:

  • the history and philosophies of the FSF, OSI, CC etc
  • understanding, applying, and complying with Free & Open licenses
  • how communities collaborate together to produce, distribute, market and sometime monetize these projects
  • what license to use for a specific situation - but please read first

But there are some questions which should not be asked here:

These questions may be on-topic on some of the other Stack Exchange sites, but make sure you check their specific on-topic guidelines too.

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Open Source Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.