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This is a list of notable software packages which were published under a proprietary software license but later released as free and open source software.

In some cases, the company continues to publish proprietary, binary-only releases alongside the free and open source version.

List of formerly proprietary and closed-source software
Title Original release Relicensed release New license Notes
Adobe Flex 2004 2007 MPL
AdvFS 1990s June 2008 GPL v2 HP opened up AdvFS from Tru64 UNIX.
Apache Derby 1996 August 2004 Apache License 2.0 Relational database management system originally called Cloudscape; released as free and open-source software by IBM in 2004 and donated to the Apache Software Foundation
Hexxagon Unknown Unknown GPL Previously shareware, now in Linux distributions
BDS C Compiler 1979 2002 Public domain Released by author
Bitstream Vera (font) Unknown 2003 custom Through the efforts of Bitstream and the GNOME Foundation
Blender 1996 2003 GPL
C*Base 1980s 2003 GPL
CuneiForm 1993 2008 BSD Optical character recognition software
Duke Nukem 3D 1996 2003 GPL Game code only, no data, no engine.
Doom engine 1993 1999 GPL Code only. Originally released under a restrictive license in 1997
Fish Fillets 1998 2002 GPL
Free Download Manager (FDM) 2003 August 2007 GPL Free since version 2.5[1]
GEM February 1985 April 1999 GPL Development continued as OpenGEM and FreeGEM.
FAR Manager October 1996 October 2007 BSD Version 2.0 released as open source.
Gentium (font) 2002 2005 OFL Through the efforts of SIL International
HoverRace 1996 2006 BSD
ILWIS 1988 2007 GPL Released as free and open-source software by ITC
id Tech 2 1997 2001 GPL
id Tech 3 1999 2005 GPL
Java 1995 2006-2007 GPL On 13 November 2006, Sun Microsystems released much of Java as free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). On 8 May 2007 Sun finished the process, making all of Java's core code free and open source, aside from a small portion of code to which Sun did not hold the copyright.[2]
Jumper 2.0 2007 2008 GPL Publicly announced on 29 September 2008,[3]
Korn shell 1982 2000 custom; now CPL
Marathon 2: Durandal 1995 2000 GPL Now known as Aleph One
MINIX 1987 2000 BSD
Movable Type October 2001 December 2007 GPL Weblog software
NetBeans 1997 October 2007 GPL, CDDL An integrated development environment (IDE) for Java and other programming languages
Netscape Enterprise Server January 2009 BSD Sun Microsystems open sourced it.[4]
Netscape Navigator/Communicator 1994 1998 MPL See Mozilla
Open Sound System 1992 2007 GPL, CDDL
Performance Co-Pilot 1993 December 1999 GPL, LGPL
Qt 1991 1999 QPL First released as open source under the QPL. Later released as GPL. Qt 4.5 and later are released under the LGPL. Until 2005 the Windows version was only under proprietary license.
Quake engine 1996 1999 GPL
Quake II 1997 2001 GPL
Quake III Arena 1999 2005 GPL
Rise of the Triad 1994 2002 GPL
Second Life client 2003 2007 GPL v2
SimCity 1989 2007 GPL v3 Free version released as 'Micropolis' [1]
Solaris 1989 2005 CDDL Free version released as OpenSolaris
StarOffice 1986 2000 LGPL/SISSL Free version released as, now released only under the LGPL). StarOffice is still released separately under a proprietary license, using mostly the same code; Sun requires all contributors to the main project assign joint copyright to Sun.
Synfig 2001 2005 GPL Some more information is available on the Synfig history page.
Tesseract OCR 1985 2005 Apache License 2.0 Released as free and open-source software by HP and UNLV
TurboCASH April 1985 July 2003 GPL
Warzone 2100 March 1999 December 2004 GPL Video game by Eidos Interactive
Watcom C compiler 1988 2003 Sybase Open Watcom Public License Free version released as Open Watcom

See also


  1. ^ Free Download Manager » Blog Archive » FDM 2.5 is released!
  2. ^ - JAVAONE: Sun - The bulk of Java is open sourced
  3. ^ NEWS-Jumper_Networks_Releases_Jumper_2.0_Platform.pdf "Jumper Networks Press Release for Jumper 2.0". Jumper Networks, Inc.. 29 September 2008. NEWS-Jumper_Networks_Releases_Jumper_2.0_Platform.pdf.  
  4. ^


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