[Linux4christians] Weighing In on the Freespire Debate
akaimbatman at gmail.com
Wed May 10 11:23:16 EDT 2006
> Okay, I may have some terms wrong. Could someone define "free" and "Free"
> for me, and explain which is usually meant by the word "(f)(F)ree" in the
> open source community? That might help me understand the open-source mindset
Stallman's intentions for the GPL are documented here:
> The term "free software" is sometimes misunderstood--it has nothing to do
> with price. It is about freedom. Here, therefore, is the definition of free
> software: a program is free software, for you, a particular user, if:
> - You have the freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
> - You have the freedom to modify the program to suit your needs. (To
> make this freedom effective in practice, you must have access to the source
> code, since making changes in a program without having the source code is
> exceedingly difficult.)
> - You have the freedom to redistribute copies, either gratis or for
> a fee.
> - You have the freedom to distribute modified versions of the
> program, so that the community can benefit from your improvements.
> Since "free" refers to freedom, not to price, there is no contradiction
> between selling copies and free software. In fact, the freedom to sell
> copies is crucial: collections of free software sold on CD-ROMs are
> important for the community, and selling them is an important way to raise
> funds for free software development. Therefore, a program which people are
> not free to include on these collections is not free software.
I've often disagreed heavily with Mr. Stallman (especailly on Java and KDE),
but he does make his intentions clear. Nowhere in there does he say that the
GPL means "zero cost".
Hope this helps. :)
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