EU Copyright..

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at
Wed May 1 19:16:33 UTC 2002

On Wed, May 01, 2002 at 01:33:16PM +0200, RIBNITZ Robert wrote:
> with interest i Iread the proposed amendment/modification to the proposed
> European Copyright Laws. With horror, I learned that the terms Free Software
> and Open Source software are more or less used interchangeably.

Let me add to the answers that were already given by others.
Note that the usage of the terms can only be understood
if you examin them regarding a certain subject.

If you think about licenses, then "Open Source" is an attempt
to use a new name for Free Software. The OSI criteria
attempted to explain which licenses are Free Software with
there own criteria. By design these criteria _should_ basically
come to the same conclusions as the definition of Free Software
by the FSF over the four freedoms.

This means: except for minor interpretational differences
"Free Software" and "Open Source" regarding licenses both
match the same set.

Both terms can be missunderstood in different was, though.
Thus it is important to minimise that missunderstandings and use the
better term.  We strongly believe that Free Software is the better term
and that the FSF criteria are a lot better to explain the concept.

> Also, my understanding of Free Software/OSS was that releasing the
> (modified) code to the community is a requirement, and not an option. In the
> text it sounds like an option.

There are Free Software licenses which grant you all freedom,
but do not require that published mofified software comes with source.
These licenses do protect the freedom of the software less.

> More precisely, I am unclear about the terms Free Software and OPen Source
> Software. Do you know of any Software that is both open source, and
> non-free, or that is free, but not Open Source?

They are all both or nothing, (apard from some cases where
the interpretations of Free Software are diverging. An example 
is software under the Artistic license or the Apple license.)

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