The 2% discussion - "Free Software" or "Open Source Software"

Carmen Bianca Bakker carmenbianca at
Thu Nov 16 14:43:47 UTC 2017

Jonas Oberg schreef op do 16-11-2017 om 15:10 [+0100]:
> I would posit though that to the extent there's a difference between two
> groups (I'm not convinced there are, at least not so distinctly), then the
> difference is not between whether they use "Free Software" or "Open Source"
> as a term, but precisely the differences you mention.

There is a difference between the groups.  "Open Source" is a tool or
methadology, not a moral stance or ideology like "Free Software" is.
That's really the only difference, as I see it.

This difference has a few rammifications.  Open Source advocates
mightn't be as bothered by user-hostile features as Free Software
advocates.  So what if this software tracks the user?  It's open source,
the user can change it if they don't like it.

Free Software advocates, on the other hand, tend to go to much further
extents to respect the individual freedom and privacy of their users.

But that's just an empirical observation.  In the end, all Free Software
is Open Source Software, and almost all Open Source Software is Free


Carmen Bianca Bakker
Technical Intern
Free Software Foundation Europe e.V.
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