Free Music License?

Alex Hudson home at
Wed Aug 24 18:33:55 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-08-24 at 19:47 +0200, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:
> > Neither are you, in English, software and programs are exactly the same. 
> From WordNet (r) 2.0 (August 2003) [wn]:

I'm not sure people are going to get anywhere arguing over terms :o)

There are people who use the word "software" to describe computer
programs (as the counterpart to the computer electronics, the
"hardware"), and there are others who use the word "software" to
describe (digital?) data. Some people may like the latter because it
allows software + hardware to be a complete set, whereas the former is

(I would argue both senses of the word are useless as taxonomy since
neither definition offers a mutually exclusive meaning, but still people
ought to recognise that both definitions are in use and neither is more

If I can draw an analogy with the GFDL debate, I would say that people
on either side of the divide are both arguing for a greater
understanding of freedom of data/information. People oppose the GFDL
because a computer is unlikely to care much for the difference between
different bitstreams (e.g., "text document" versus "Perl script").
Others like the GFDL because it doesn't care much for the difference
between different representations of the same work (e.g., "text
document" versus "hardback book"). Again, it's not an either-or
situation: you can quite sensibly argue from both points of view, and
neither is "right".



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