A term that designates ownership, often related to trade secrets or otherwise restricted access for the general populace. The opposite of this is open – for example, open-source software makes its entire code available for anyone to see and modify, even to use in their own project.
This isn’t possible for proprietary code – in fact, it would be illegal. Lots of software, hardware and firmware creators choose to keep their work proprietary, to avoid espionage and theft of intellectual property.
Technipages Explains Proprietary
Privately owned content, in the world of technology, can be any number of things. It can be the entirety of a program or only parts of it – as an example, all of the Macintosh software architecture is proprietary, meaning not just anyone can gain access.
On the other hand, IBM’s PC system is partially open. Most of it is available, with only the BIOS or basic input-output system being proprietary.
This can, in other cases, mean that the content is based on trade secrets or technology that is exclusively copyrighted to one entity, be that a person or company – though, usually it’s a company. Both formats have their purposes, but proprietary software generally makes their owners more money, as it can’t be cloned or reproduced, or at least not easily.
Common Uses of Proprietary
- Proprietary software is often based on intellectual property owned by one party.
- Proprietary content can include things other than software and hardware.
- Proprietary rights protect intellectual property.
Common Misuses of Proprietary
- Proprietary content is in the public realm.