Definition

public domain software

Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

Programs that are uncopyrighted because their authors intended to share them with everyone else are in the public domain. The UNIX community has developed a number of such programs over the years. Programs in the public domain can be used without restriction as components of other programs. When reusing such code, it is good to understand its history so that you can be sure it really is in the public domain.

Also see shareware , which is programming that is "free" but more or less on a trial basis, and freeware .

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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