Terminology (was: Please review our new charter)

jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com
Wed Feb 4 18:27:33 UTC 2009

On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 9:44 AM, Bernhard Reiter <reiter at fsfeurope.org> wrote:
> On Dienstag, 3. Februar 2009, list at akfoerster.de wrote:
>> > can you give me examples of software that is Free Software but not Open
>> > Source or OS but not FS ?
>> For example Open Watcom is Open Source, but not Free Software.
>> http://opensource.org/licenses/sybase.php
> Evaluating which license or other conditions best ensure the four freedoms
> is a ever ongoing process (at least because legislation changes from day to
> day).
> So there will always be examples where the leading experts are not sure about.
> To me the leading experts are the major FSFs, Debian and OSI.
> (At least those are the ones putting in significant time evaluating software
> and licenses.)
> Step back a few steps and this does not change the overal picture:
> There is Free and un-free Software.
> Some groups use a different word for Free Software.

I see your perspective. And I appreciate your effort in explaining it.

I still don't agree, because for me free software is an ethical and
political movement that involves moral judgements.

Open source is just that, open source.
Now I support the free software movement, but I also support the open
source people to distance themselves from it.

The free software movement makes itself unpopular in places that do
not want people to have too much freedom.

For example, lets say you spend all your effort, years and years you
invested in creating a product and all of a sudden someone figures out
how to go around your license and create a plug in that would allow
someone to go around the barb wire you strung up, then you would do
anything to stop them.

I think that you can imagine what I am trying to say,
sometimes people don't care about freedom because they need to survive.

Now, these people like the idea of open source better,
because they have no strings attached and they can choose to hide the
source if they need to.
This is better than making contradictory licenses that say that you
have the freedom to use the software for any purpose but not the right
to use in for the purpose of interfacing to a plug in.


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