EU Copyright..

Richard Smedley richard.smedley at
Wed May 1 11:52:11 UTC 2002

RIBNITZ Robert wrote:
> More precisely, I am unclear about the terms Free Software and OPen Source
> Software. 

Free Software guarantees certain Freedoms to be able to run,
explore, share, modify and distribute the code.
(Access to the source is essential to be able to do some
of the above.)

Open Source suggests that you may (under certain conditions)
have access to (some of) the Source (code).

> Do you know of any Software that is both open source, and
> non-free, 

There is plenty - from SuSE's Yast to Windows CE.

> or that is free, but not Open Source?

No - this would not be possible (by definition).

> Are theses distictions anything else than a political choice?

You mean the political choice between having freedom and not
having freedom? All life is choice (and politics with a small 'p').

'Open Source' was started by a group of people who
wished to promote Free Software by giving it a
certain marketing spin. Unfortunately, by not 
emphasising Freedom, the term 'Open Source' now
has little distinct meaning - and certainly does
not apply exclusively to Free Software (cf WindowsCE).

For more info on Free Software (definition and philosophy)
have a good look around


- Richard


Richard Smedley
Production Editor, Linux Format

Telephone +44 (0) 1225 442244 ext 5038

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