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Wed Dec 1 10:11:15 CET 2004

"Free Software" vs. "Open Source":
kernetrap interviewer: You regularly have to explain the differences
between "free software" and "open source software", and yet the media
continues to confuse these terms. For our readers that may therefor be
confused themselves, can you explain the differences, and why it is
important to get it right?

Richard Stallman: Free software and open source are the slogans of two
different movements with different philosophies. In the free software
movement, our goal is to be free to share and cooperate. We say that
non-free software is antisocial because it tramples the users'
freedom, and we develop free software to escape from that.

The open source movement promotes what they consider a technically
superior development model that usually gives technically superior
results. The values they cite are the same ones Microsoft appeals to:
narrowly practical values.

Free software and open source are also both criteria for software
licenses. These criteria are written in very different ways but the
licenses accepted are almost the same. The main difference is the
difference in philosophy.

Why does the philosophy matter? Because people who don't value their
freedom will lose it. If you give people freedom but don't teach them
to value it, they won't hold on to it for long. So it is not enough to
spread free software. We have to teach people to demand freedom, to
fight for freedom. Then we may be able to overcome the problems that
today I see no way to solve."


This article is why I wrote earlier that; "You can do anything you
want with free software, Open Source has more copyright restrictions
attached." This is the essence of the philosophy and is not as easy to
say about the license. If you want a one-liner about the licenses, try
this; "Free Software requires you adopt its license, Open Source
requires you to adopt its license."

m.v.h. och f=F6l=E5t mig f=F6r jag skriver p=E5 engelska.


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