Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative helps identify and define open source programs. When something is defined as “open source” it doesn’t just mean that folks can access the source code. It also means that it follows a few principles like:

Free redistribution

Access to all derived works

No restrictions on what it can be used for

No restrictions on who can use it

These provisions take a piece of software beyond just being accessible to developers. It means that anyone can use the technology, for anything, for free. The Open Source Initiative are stewards of this broad definition and make the official call about whether something is truly open source.