summary of Re: Beyond 'open standard'

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Thu Jul 20 10:32:27 UTC 2006

 || On Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:01:59 +0200
 || Giacomo Poderi <poderi1980 at> wrote: 

 gp> I'm sorry to point out that probably for this there is no real
 gp> solution: for example Microsoft certainly consider free the
 gp> software they offer for downloading within their website [0]

Nobody said that "free" in English was perfect, but you're missing
several points here that make it the best we have:

What Microsoft is referring to on that page is called "freeware" and
not Free Software. We obviously know that Microsoft is deliberately
trying to ignore the fact that there is a 20 year old scientific
definition of "Free Software" that is causing them quite a bit of

In general it is not the fact that you have enemies that will try to
confuse your issue that decides about how good or bad a term is, it is
the question of how good you can keep the basis clean.

For Free Software in English there are generally only two ways in
which people understand the term: price or freedom. Such a confusion
is comparatively easy to clear up. In pretty much any other language
you can clearly refer to freedom.

The same is not true for "fair" which means something different for
every person on this planet. You might as well use "nice" "good"
"lovely" "cozy" "cuddly" or anything else.


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!     (
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