Talk:List of formerly proprietary software

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For anyone interested in expanding this article, check out this Google search of for "source code released". Note, however, that just because the source code is available doesn't necessarily mean the software is covered by a free or open source license. Also, Slashdot has an unfortunate habit of printing erroneous stories, so be sure to check carefully. —Psychonaut 15:32, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, I might help and try to expand this article, keeping in mind only adding software with free (as in freedom) source code. (talk) 23:28, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

can turbo case come into this category[edit]

does turbocash come into this category. 02:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


Please don't put Java in yet, because only small parts of the implementation have actually been released so far. Superm401 - Talk 03:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC) Sun Microsystems today will announce it's released a fully buildable Java Development Kit (JDK) for Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. Sun is planning a formal announcement today at its JavaOne conference in San Francisco. Paucabot 03:52, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
It is time yet? (I haven't been following Sun's news, but I thought they'd now released most of it) I'm obviously not clued in enough to write that entry myself though. Gronky 19:52, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


is doom2 libeated at the same time of doom1?

Yeah, but they share the same engine. (talk) 23:24, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

POV title[edit]

The title of this article is POV. Sadly I can't think of anything suitable and concise. Suggestions? NicM 11:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC).

Indeed. Any suggestions for a slightly more neutral title? I can't think of one which is of an appropriate length. Chris Cunningham 12:03, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 September 11#Category:Liberated software for a suggestion. Chris Cunningham 13:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

CLARAty - no article yet[edit]

Here's a new release: CLARAty, but there's no corresponding Wikipedia article yet. Gronky 09:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

On Portal:Free software, this list is currently the selected article[edit]

Just to let you know. The purpose of selecting an article is both to point readers to the article and to highlight it to potential contributors. It will remain on the portal for a week or so. The previous selected article was Iceweasel. Gronky 21:24, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The selected article has moved on and is now MoinMoin - the wiki engine. Gronky 20:09, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

FreeSpace 2[edit]

This came out in 1999 and had it's source code released in 2002. - 20:27, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

The source code was released, but under a special non-free license. (talk) 22:19, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Category:Liberated software[edit]

I've made Category:Liberated software. The category should benefit this list because it provides a place where you might find packages that this list should include. --Gronky 20:44, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

For anyone interested either way, this category has been proposed for deletion: Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2007_September_11#Category:Liberated_software
--Gronky 14:30, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
The result is that the category was renamed to Category:Formerly proprietary software. --Gronky 11:51, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Change list to article?[edit]

I've been thinking. Maybe this would be better as an article. Things like Java, Mozilla, and really deserve a section each with two paragraphs. Things like the Quake engine also need more of an explanation - what was liberated, what wasn't, what has been done with the liberated part. And then smaller things could be discussed together as a general discussion of liberated software. I think this would be more informative and interesting. Thoughts? --Gronky 11:00, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

WP:SYN at its finest. Definitely not a good idea. Chris Cunningham 11:19, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
In what you linked to, do you see the bit that says "That much is fine."? That's what I'm suggesting we do.
We currently have a list with a few big/important packages mixed in with a load of others. The big ones are being under-documented because there is only a small box for such comments. I'm just suggesting we remove the frame of the table, convert it to paragraph style where there will be enough room to give more, referenced, information on the big/important packages. --Gronky 12:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
...With the goal being an essay on relicensed software, which tries to draw a theme from a bunch of sources which don't have one. I'm far more inclined to suggest deleting the article now that there's a category, seeing as it's an arbitrary grouping of not-particularly-related software packages. The article on free software itself could describe the process of "liberation". Chris Cunningham 12:50, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't know where your getting these ideas from. The goal being an article on software which was non-free and was later released as free software, plus the (referenced) reasons given and the (referenced) reactions and the (referenced) projects that spawned from these projects. The freeing of software such as Netscape's and StarOffice were big, surprising events in the software world and both had large impacts on market share distribution. This is a notable topic with plenty of referenceable sources. --Gronky 13:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
It's notable individually. It is not sufficiently well-sourced and notable as a phenomenon to really justify an article to itself. Chris Cunningham 13:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Linux (kernel)[edit]

The kernel Linux wasn't originally covered by the GPL. "When he released [0.12], Torvalds adopted the GNU General Public License (GPL) over his previous self-drafted license, which did not permit commercial redistribution." (from Linux kernel) See —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cogburnd02 (talkcontribs) 11:40, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


what about the liberation of InterBase that have given Firebird (database server)? GNUtoo(my point of views(for npov), howto customise a signature) | talk 20:41, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone provide a source showing Bitstream used to be proprietary? Superm401 - Talk 13:24, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Star Control 2[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong the but Ur Quan Masters is Star Control 2 re-released open source isn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Correct. The source code was released under the free GPL license, but the content was released under the non-free Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 license. (talk) 22:20, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


MegaZeux does too, but I don't know the detail (such as date). --Zzo38 (talk) 05:56, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Point in listing games here?[edit]

Is there a point in listing games on this page when this page exists?: (talk) 21:00, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Sure, why not? Just because the source code was released doesn't mean it's free software. —Psychonaut (talk) 21:26, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you mean. (talk) 23:23, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
PS, I think several games could be migrated from the article I linked earlier to this article. Many, though not all of them, are under free-as-in-freedom licenses. (talk) 23:32, 28 March 2014 (UTC)


Shaddim, please refer to the lead of this article: "This is a list of notable software packages which were published under a proprietary software license but later released as free software or open source software, or into the public domain." If you follow the "free software" and "open source software" links you'll see that both articles specifically exclude "non-commercial use only" software from the definition. This isn't, as you contend, a criterion unique to the Free Software Foundation, but rather one which is used by the OSI and Wikipedia itself. The entry for Photoshop is inappropriate here and I'd ask that you remove it. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:06, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

I saw you've just changed the lead paragraph in an attempt to make the article describe something quite different. "More liberal" is not the same as "formerly proprietary". Proprietary software licence agreements change all the time; a loosening of the distribution restrictions does not change the fundamental nature of the licence. As your changes are quite radical I'd ask you to revert them and establish consensus on the talk page before reinserting them. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:13, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Psychonaut, if this list would be called "List of former proprietary software and now free software" there would be no debate. But as this is the list of software of software whcih was closed sourced proprietary software and afterward relicensend & open sourced I see a broader spectrum possible than free software. Renaming of the page or an addtional table I consider also solution approaches to address this. Shaddim (talk) 07:48, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I think that might be a good discussion to have, though as your proposal represents a very significant broadening of the focus of the article, and possibly also an attendant name change, it should be carried out via a prior discussion on the talk page and if necessary a move request. Again, could you please revert your changes pending community agreement on modification of this article's listing criteria? If you then state your case for what the new criteria should be I'll be happy to offer my own comments, and perhaps we can attract some other editors to the discussion. —Psychonaut (talk) 08:19, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
While I see no need for reverting, as I see the addition inside the definition of the page and the rewording just as clarified description of what the title suggests, I'm very open for better & consensus solutions like splitting, renaming or rewording of content or page. Shaddim (talk) 08:44, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
PS: as addition, the bitstream vera font and several of the games are already non-commercial licensed or partly even completely proprietary (like the game data), so photoshop was not the first addition beyond the free software interpretation. Shaddim (talk) 10:05, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
How about also adding MS-DOS and MS Word, considering Photoshop is here (under the same license, I think)? (talk) 20:57, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Sounds interesting. Link? have not heard that the source code of MS-DOs or MS-Word became available. Shaddim (talk) 09:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it was released this Tuesday, here's Microsoft's official blog post: (talk) 23:09, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Non-commercial software on this list[edit]

In regards to this reversion
About non-commercial software being on this list: both

the FSF:

In the past we subdivided nonfree software into “semifree software”, which could be modified and redistributed noncommercially, and “ proprietary software”, which could not be. But we have dropped that distinction and now use “proprietary software” as synonymous with nonfree software.

and the OSI:

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

have expressed that non-commercial licenses do not fall under their definitions of their respective terms, and therefore are by definition are "proprietary". --Inops (talk) 22:44, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

There is no clear definition what is meant with "free" or non-proprietary. You mentioned two definitions (which are partly incompatible), the Debian Free Software Guidelines might be an third one. As concrete example, the Bitstream Vera, included in this list, has the following clause: "The fonts have a generous copyright, allowing derivative works (as long as "Bitstream" or "Vera" are not in the names), and full redistribution (so long as they are not *sold* by themselves).", meaning it limits re-usage in renaming and re-selling, hardly free. Some of the included games have non-free content. Therefore, we shoudl continue a more reality fitting, tolerant inclusion pattern. Shaddim (talk) 23:07, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
The definition used in the article was perfectly clear until you changed it back in October in order to support your own additions. I raised a similar objection with you then, and it seems Inops is raising it again with you now. When you reverted their removals, you used an edit summary which implied that your alterations to the focus of this article were a settled matter. In fact, they're not; this was a disagreement between you and me, and now that Inops has weighed in it seems the consensus is turning against you. I would like to restore the original version of the list criteria and to remove the proprietary software from the list.
Besides this, your objections above don't appear to hold water. This article is intended to discuss software, not game scripts and artwork (and not the "artistic design" component of fonts). The FSF, for its part, has no problem whatsoever with the artistic content of games being non-free as long as the source code is free. It is also quite upfront that reasonable naming restrictions in things like font and typesetting package licences, while "annoying", do not make them non-free or non-copyleft. You can read, for example, their comments on the SIL Open Font License, the ec fonts License, and the LPPL, all of which require derivative works to use a different name, but all of which are confirmed as being free software licences. I would be very surprised if the OSI had a different opinion. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:55, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
You raise another problematic point: where to draw the line what is part of the software and what not? Some software clearly needs data to work, data is therefore inherent part of the software. That RMS arbitrarly decided it is not, is his personal point of view but not universal agreed. (Also, that you call "game scripts" not software is pretty confusing, scripts are pretty universally seen as software) About real "free" software, I could argue GPL software is not free enough as it restricts the usage with other licensed code, real free software is therefore public domain software and BSD like licenses only. (Meaing removal of the GPL stuff) Overall, this complete discussion is a dangerous can of worms, as due to neutrality which Wikipedia should have, we can't enforce a point of view of freedom which is promoted by some organisations (OSI, GNU) which are not universal agreed one. We have to address a broader point of view on what as "non-proprietary software" can be seen. Clearly, all the mentioned examples in the article are tries of groups and people to make a software less proprietary, while resulting in pretty different licenses. The current state of the article reflects the diverse situation in reality pretty well and should stay therefore and not be shrinked to points of view of individual organisations. As compromise to satisfy all positions what about a extended and clarifying introduction text? Or a split in several sub-tables? Shaddim (talk) 09:40, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
PS: about the font, fact is it can't be used in all contexts. That the FSF and OSI say this restrictions are OK is nice, but FreeBSD and public domain proponents would disagree. Point is again, there are different points of view what is required to be called non-proprietary or free. Shaddim (talk) 09:57, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
This isn't the place for a philosophical discussion on the dividing line between free and proprietary, nor is such a discussion necessary to resolve any of the clear-cut cases under consideration here. For these we should look to definitions provided by our own articles, and to those of the reliable authorities on which they are based. Most of the disputed cases we are talking about here would be unanimously considered non-free by all the main FLOSS organizations so far mentioned, and should therefore be removed. So I don't see that any "compromise" is necessary. Why don't you start a separate list for proprietary software which has been made source-available or freeware?
By the way, by "scripts" I was referring to written or spoken character dialogue. I am not aware of anyone who considers those to be software. —Psychonaut (talk) 11:18, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
This is by no means a philosophical but a very real one. Either we allow all real world interpretations of non-proprietary or less-proprietary software (like we have it now) or we differentiate them by "free'ness", which his highly debated field, a can of worms. If you want to go the discussion road, I will argue that truly free software would be only public domain and maybe BSD-licensed software. Shaddim (talk) 14:33, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
From our article proprietary software:"Proprietary software or closed source software is computer software licensed under exclusive legal right of the copyright holder with the intent that the licensee is given the right to use the software only under certain conditions, and restricted from other uses [...] Usually the source code of proprietary software is not made available." -> the unifying aspect of non-proprietary software is the non-availablity of source code, the most common and most agreed on characteristic of proprietary software. While other restrictions might exist, there is no agreement which are acceptable and which not for being an non-proprietary software. Commercial restriction? renaming restriction? "Personal use only" restriction? Use only with compatible licensed software (copyleft GPL)? Therefore the most common denominator is "proprietary softare == closed source software". Also "closed source software" is mentioned in the article as synonym of "proprietary software"! Which means the software in this list with the opened source code is qualified to be included. Shaddim (talk) 14:45, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
You are arguing philosophically; it does not matter your take on the phrase "free" or "open source", what matters is the stance major FOSS institutions take on them. As I pointed out above the FSF and the OSI (as well as the DFSG (under its "No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor" paragraph)), all agree non-commercial licensed software is proprietary. It does not matter if the source is available, that does not make it qualify as free/open source. I have to agree with User:Psychonaut, if you want a list of source available software that previously was not, go make it. --Inops (talk) 15:12, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
The free movements are not in coherence at all (also OSI and FSF disagree in several aspects), e.g. Debian guys, creative commons guys, (Free)BSD guys and public domain guys (e.g. disagree in several aspects and fight each other to the blood. Specifically the creative commons guys have created a "NC" license, disagreeing with the "commercial" point of view of the FSF. Also, if we take "non-commercial licensed software is proprietary." seriously then also the Bitstream Vera font is out as it can't be sold separately, so also the GPL/FSF camp has strange inbetween definitions. Also games with the content not included under a free license (code works not without content) are highly debatable. And than, GPL code can't be used with other commercial licensed code what makes the GPL license often effective a non-commercial license. Things get messy if you look into details. It is a diverse and messy reality and Wikipeda should reflect this situation and not trying to present a simplified point of view which is envisioned by some organizations. To summarize: the proprietary software article has "closed source" as characterizing element, "closed source software" is even synonymous with "proprietary software" there. Therefore represent this article's zoo of software with the source opened, real world approaches on making software non-proprietary or less proprietary. Shaddim (talk) 19:37, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

There being no further contributions to this discussion, and with Shaddim's preference being in the minority, I've gone ahead and reverted the additions of proprietary software, as well as the changes to the list criteria which were used to justify them ex post facto. Shaddim, if you still feel strongly the matter, please do not immediately re-insert your changes, but rather open an RFC in a more centralized location. The arguments you have been making are just as applicable to the thousands of other articles we have on free, libre, and open-source software, and so discussion shouldn't be confined to this one low-traffic article. —Psychonaut (talk) 11:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, this matter needs to be addressed, the current status don't reflect all aspects in reality on "de-proprietarization" of software. Also, I can't see a reasonable amount of participants to see a majority decision or that my concerns about the weak or missing definition on what is "non-proprietary" or "former proprietary" are addressed (as seen on the conflicting synonymous usage of "closed source" and "proprietary software"). But, I still think this can be addressed in compromise way, for instance by renaming the page & more introduction text: a suggestion would be former closed source software and additionally a split of the table's content according to degree of "freeness". Thoughts? Shaddim (talk) 11:46, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Focus of the article unclear -> renaming[edit]

As it is not clear what kind of software is meant with "non-proprietary" or "formerly proprietary" software (could be several kinds of software licenses, public domain, bsd, free software, shared source etc) I argue for sharpening by renaming of this page. Either to the "former proprietary software which is now free software" (the page Psychonaut is currently envisioning & enforcing) or a more general "former proprietary software which source is now available": broader scope, according the synonym from "proprietary software" article, "proprietary software is closed source, therefore non-proprietary is software with source available". Also a split sounds reasonable. Shaddim (talk) 23:22, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi Shaddim. In order for your rename request to be properly registered you'll need to use the appropriate template as instructed at WP:RM/CM. Without this it won't show up in the list of requested moves. —Psychonaut (talk) 08:40, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Psychonaut, so did I understand you right that you would support a splitting and/or renaming solution? Shaddim (talk) 11:26, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
No, you did not. My message above was simply informing you (for the third time, as it happens [1] [2] [3]) about the proper procedure for opening a request to rename this article. If there's something you don't understand about the procedure, please ask for help at Wikipedia talk:Requested moves. —Psychonaut (talk) 12:39, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Could you please give your position on renaming/splitting? Could we PLEASE find a compromise solution? The authors of an article (obviously you and I are the active authors of this article) should find together solutions, so let's discuss / give your opinion. (And again, there is no need to escalate if you start to cooperate, as it is expected from WP authors.)Shaddim (talk) 05:48, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Due to the missing collaboration/non-consensus, I splitted the page according to WP:SPLIT in version from 3 June 2014 to the page List of commercial software with available source code Shaddim (talk) 15:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
What do you like to achieve with this new page? As far as I can see, it currently a conveys false claim as the title of your new page is in conflict with the content: The title of the new page claims that the sw is still commercial but it contains at least one entry (Solaris) where the OSS child is now in a completely separate development branch that is decoupled from the former commercial product.
BTW if your last edit is still the official statement of the FSF, then the GPLv3 must be seen as non-free. Note that the problem with the Watcom license is the use of the term "convey" that aprox. 3 years later made it into GPLv3. So using the arguments against the Watcom license would make the GPLv3 non-free. Schily (talk) 17:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Very obviously, I want to achieve a list with relevant software with source code available. What do you want to achieve now? Shaddim (talk) 21:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC) PS: yes you are right with your arguing GPLv3 vs Watcom, the free definition is fuzzy & changing, which was my starting point for this discussion
I am interested in a list of software that has been closed source formerly and now is true OpenSource. It would also be of interest whether the current development model allows to send back enhancements and who is currently the maintainer. Note that this may be information that is not easy to retrieve correctly. OpenSolaris is e.g. no longer maintained by Sun but by several OSS entities, while Oracle created a new closed source fork that is maintained by Oracle. Making the Source Code Control System OSS resulted in a half hearted portability attempt from Gunnar Ritter, a well maintained OSS project maintained by me and a more or less unmaintained closed source fork from Oracle. I guess that other code has a similar history. Schily (talk) 14:34, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm always sceptical if someone talks about that something has a "true" interpretation. There is no agreement what is "true" opensource: the BSD guys thinking the FSF people are to restrictive, FSF disagrees with the OSI, Debian disagrees with the FSF, the unlicense public domain guys... there is no true "open source", there is a wide range. So, we have now two lists, one defined by the availability of the source code (while being developed closed) and one list with formerly proprietary software (and undefined what defines un-proprietary software). Fine for me. Shaddim (talk) 17:55, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
If you check the opensource definition text from, you should see, that this is a good definition that takes care of nearly all challenges for OSS. accepts the BSD license and it accepts even the GPL after the FSF confirmed that the ambiguous text of the GPL has to be interpreted in a way that is compatile with the OSS definition. The problem with Debian (that use the same definition text as is that Debian does not follow their definition text. When I write true OSS, I am thinking about the possibility that the owner of the formerly closed source code may not really follow the rules if the license in use. Apple e.g. just throws the source of their OS over the fence and is not really interested in a collaboration. This is why it would be of interest whether the OSS code is still maintained and whether contributions are possible. Schily (talk) 09:28, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm well aware of the open source definition and the limits & problems of the current free and open source infrastructure. That everything is NOT fine, is for instance illustrated by this incident, where two completely valid open source licenses prevent collaboration. Also, some argue that licensing overall is a bad idea, public domain/permission-less system is the correct solution. Therefore, a open and inclusive list with relevant software under all kinds of licenses (and non-licenses) which encourage real collaboration by having the source code available, not just a list of software under a pretty arbitrary and political motivated "free-software" flag (when even the title is ambiguous). Shaddim (talk) 06:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
This is a typical problem caused by Stallman. Stallman still behaves as if the GPLv0 is still in use (this is the license used with the first GCC in Summer 1986). This license was completely unusable as it was in conflict with it's enironment. It was compatible with libraries under any license, but it did e.g. require you to deliver the whole libc in case you decided to give away binaries. It did also link all programs with an own crt0.o that was under this GPLv0 (my notation for this GCC license). As a result, you have been forced to publish everything (you compiled with GCC) under GPLv0 in case you decided to give away binaries. There was a heavy discussion about the problem in the usenet at that time and the result was that crt0.o needed a different license (to allow to compile any source with GCC) and that you cannot require to deliver things with the sources that you don't own rights (like system components). These changes have then been realized with GPLv1 in 1989.
You may like to check for an overview on the 8 most important licenses and a description on whether they allow collaboration between projects of diferent license. Schily (talk) 17:38, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's interesting as I never heard before of the OSSCC ... the OSSCC don't recommend the GPL but recommend another copyleft license... why they are not listed in the GPL article under criticism? Shaddim (talk) 18:09, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
If I did add such a note, it would take only minutes until someone would revert it. Wikipedia is full of people that support religuous based statements. Schily (talk) 22:43, 23 August 2014 (UTC)