List of formerly free and open-source software

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This is a list of notable software packages which were published as free and open-source software, or into the public domain, but were made proprietary software, or otherwise switched to a license (including source-available licenses) that is not considered to be free and open source.

List of formerly open-source software
Title Original release Relicensed release Initial free license Notes
FBReader 2013 2015 GPL Apparently the number of devs was limited, and they all agreed to relicense it.[citation needed]
Elasticsearch 2010 2021 Apache License Re-licensed under the non-free "Elastic License" and Server Side Public License mentioned below, citing that Amazon Web Services was not fairly contributing back to the software. Amazon and other vendors subsequently led the OpenSearch fork based on the Apache-licensed version of Elasticsearch.[1][2][3]
LiveJournal 1999 2014 GPL The source code was made private in 2014.
LiveCode 2013 2021 GPL The Livecode company developed it, ran a Kickstarter campaign to GPL it, ran it for eight years-open-source, and then relicensed it back to proprietary, saying there were few other contributors, most were using the free GPL version, and they couldn't sustain the project.[4]
MongoDB 2009 2018 GNU Affero GPL Re-licensed under the "Server Side Public License" (SSPL), a self-published modification of the GNU General Public License v3 that requires the entirety of any "service" that incorporates SSPL-licensed software, including all components necessary for someone to implement the service themselves (in comparison to the previous AGPL license, which only requires the release of the source code for the instance of AGPL-licensed software when conveyed to users over a network) to be licensed and released under the SSPL.[5] The license has been rejected as free software by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and Debian Project for discriminating against specific forms of commercial use.[5][6]
Nexuiz 2005 2012 GPL Game abandoned in favour of a commercial video game of the same name, which licensed the Nexuiz title but is not based on its engine. Forks such as Xonotic continue the community development of the game.[7]
OctoberCMS 2014 2021 MIT License Cited the sustainability of its open source model as a factor.[8] October had been forked by its former maintainers in March 2021 as Winter, citing a "systemic breakdown in communication" between them and the lead founders of the project.[9][10]
Paint.NET 2004 2007 MIT License Re-licensed under a freeware license that prohibits modification or resale, citing issues with plagiarized versions of the software with branding and attribution stripped from its open source code.[11]
PyMOL 2000 2010 Python License[12] [13][14][15][16]
Reddit 2008 2017 Common Public Attribution License Source code was made private in 2017, as the internal codebase had already diverged significantly from the public one.
Tux Racer 2000 2002 GPL Commercial expansion by original authors, also called "Tux Racer".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. "Elastic changes open-source license to monetize cloud-service use". ZDNet. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  2. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (2021-04-13). "OpenSearch: AWS rolls out its open source Elasticsearch fork". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  3. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. "AWS, as predicted, is forking Elasticsearch". ZDNet. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  4. ^ Anderson, Tim (2021-09-06). "Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2021-09-15. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  5. ^ a b Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (2019-01-16). "MongoDB "open-source" Server Side Public License rejected". ZDNet. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  6. ^ "MongoDB's licensing changes led Red Hat to drop the database from the latest version of its server OS". GeekWire. 2019-01-16. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  7. ^ Larabel, Michael (2010-03-22). "Nexuiz Gets Forked, Turned Into Xonotic". Phoronix. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  8. ^ "October CMS Moves to Become a Paid Platform". October. 2021-04-12. Archived from the original on 2021-06-03. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  9. ^ Laurent, Pierre-Edouard (2021-10-16). "Meilleur CMS (2022) : le comparatif des gestionnaires de contenus pour créer un site web". (in French). Retrieved 2022-06-22.
  10. ^ "We have forked October CMS". Retrieved 2022-06-22.
  11. ^ "A new license for Paint.NET v3.5". 2009-11-07. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  12. ^ now a custom license granting broad use, redistribution, and modification rights, but assigning copyright to any version to Schrodinger, LLC.
  13. ^ "PyMOL |". Retrieved 2021-11-07. Open-Source Philosophy
    PyMOL is a commercial product, but we make most of its source code freely available under a permissive license. The open source project is maintained by Schrödinger and ultimately funded by everyone who purchases a PyMOL license.
    Open source enables open science.
    This was the vision of the original PyMOL author Warren L. DeLano.
  14. ^ "schrodinger/pymol-open-source". GitHub. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  15. ^ "PyMOL Molecular Graphics System". SourceForge.
  16. ^ "Open-Source PyMOL". Schrodinger, Inc. 2021-11-05. Retrieved 2021-11-07.