Is open-source library software really free?

Open source library software – software for which the source code has been made available for modification and distribution by its creators – is promoted as an inexpensive or even free alternative to purchasing library software licences. But is open source library software really a free or low cost option?

Library software licences explained

This article explains the different types of licences available for library software. When purchasing library software, the traditional model for software licences has been a licence in perpetuity, in other words the licensee can use the software forever. Unlike a computer or other property, software licences can not usually be transferred to another organisation, i.e….