Creating a new open source project

I am wondering how hard it might be for anyone to launch a new open source project?  Would they need to decide which existing licenswe they would adhere to ahead of time?

Do the agreements need to be in place before any work can start by anyone?

I am interested in open source as a way to build big projects. But I can also see how things could bog down, especially if there were contractual problems early on in the game.

I'd be happy to hear about your experiences and your impressions of open source as a way to do really cool things and get the money people out of the decisions.

newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAsked:
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IMHO, you need a few enthusiasts--who know what they are doing and  sufficient funding.  Yes, registering as a not for profit organization, being able to manage the other legalities, copy rights etc., but the main thing is a good idea and good enough expertise to be able to program it.  If you are able to make some good version, may be other enthusiasts would get involved and you would get more funding.

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newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
I thought open source meant people programmed it for free. BUt I am afraid once you talk contracts, lawyers don't work for free :(
newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
Well, open source is not totally free to produce and not totally free to use.  Sometimes you don't pay for license but pay for support.

Likewise, a successful production of open source should have a few full time experienced programmers who not only program themselves but also manage code produced by others.
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