Proprietary is Not Necessarily Secret!

The term “proprietary” should mean “something that is owned by someone”. Even people who create software (or hardware) that then license under what they consider “open” and therefore non-proprietary licenses are kidding themselves. They own it. They created it. They chose to license it. Even after licensing it, they *probably* still own it (unless they gave up ownership in the license).

Proprietary does not mean secret, non-open, or anything like that … despite that, I agree that’s how the word seems to be now used. I guess it’s ok that words evolve, but the definition of the word “proprietary” has evolved faster than it should given that this evolution has confused the topic of software licensing.

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