Open Culture/Technology

Technology, the most visible part of the Open Culture movement can be most easily illustrated in the field of computer software and hardware.

A branch of the Free Software movement known as Open Source software is a commonly-cited example. As in all cases of "free" culture the free software and open source movements are founded on a premise whereby the user is not restricted in the use of the software. The user is encouraged to build upon what has gone before without fear of being restricted by legal or ethical constraints.

Many users of free software from around the world are able to contribute to the development of applications that are useful, so it is in effect not a single company that creates software for the customers but customers that contribute to making useful software for themselves as part of a community.

The common examples include the various types of the GNU/Linux Operating System, the Mozilla suite of internet applications (Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Seamonkey, and others), and the Office Suite. Each of those applications have significant shares in their respective markets and may pose a threat to their traditional, proprietary competitors.