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In production and development, open source is a philosophy , or pragmatic methodology that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product's design and implementation details [ citation needed ] . Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of terms for the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet , and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code . [ 1 ] Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. [ 2 ] The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright , licensing , domain , and consumer issues created. [ citation needed ] Generally, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design.