Why the distinction between free software and GPL software is important

Art Alexion art.alexion at verizon.net
Fri Apr 27 17:59:41 BST 2007

On Thursday 26 April 2007 08:14, Nils Kassube wrote:
> Would you care to elaborate what definition of "free" you have in mind
> here? If you look it up at e.g. www.dictionary.com you get many
> definitions for "free", but only a few talk about the absence of money /
> cost.

Don't count definitions.  The definitions of free that do not involve cost 
have many subtle differences requiring varied definitions.  That doesn't mean 
each definition is in equal use.  The lack of cost definition is clear, less 
subtle.  It can be handled by a single definition, but that doesn't mean it 
is used less than the combined alternative definitions.

When referring to an object -- like software-- rather than a living thing, 
most native English speakers probably presume free of cost unless context 
dictates the contrary.

Art Alexion

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