Terminology (was: Please review our new charter)

simo simo.sorce at xsec.it
Wed Feb 4 19:40:15 UTC 2009

On Wed, 2009-02-04 at 19:27 +0100, jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com wrote:
> 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.
> Well,
> 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.

I think you have very confused ideas about what is Open Source.

I think you are confusing copyleft with Free Software and non-copyleft
with Open Source.

You are *wrong*. And you shouldn't embed such completely wrong believes
in any charter that is binding people to something as it would bind
people to fantasies.

Free Software encompass all copyleft and non-copyleft licenses just as
much as Open Source does.

There is *no* practical difference between the licenses that can be said
to be Open Source or Free Software.

If you want to do justice to the people you are going to address you
better take Free Software and Open Source as synonyms until you
understand where the difference lies. You'll do much less damage that


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