“Public Software” refers to software which members of the general public can use without restriction, improve as they wish and share with anyone (modified or unmodified). Collectively, these attributes are called “Software Freedom” and software that delivers software freedom is variously called free software or open source software.
By using the name “Public Software” we are alluding to the name of the key free software and open source license, the GNU General Public License (GPL) — a copyright license for the benefit of the general public. Public Software exists to promote software freedom delivered under any copyright licenses both approved by the Open Source Initiative as conforming to the Open Source Definition and recognised by the Free Software Foundation as “free software licenses”.
Public software means more than just the essential of an acceptable copyright license. Our projects also allow participation by anyone and reserve project governance to those actually participating. We are convinced Code and Community together in public are the best recipe for software freedom.