Why the distinction between free software and GPL software is important
art.alexion at verizon.net
Sun Apr 29 17:45:58 UTC 2007
On Saturday 28 April 2007 07:43, Graham wrote:
> Art Alexion wrote:
> > 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.
> Most people understand the concept of "free speech" as being speech
> without restriction, the "free" being understood as freedom.
> Free software is about that same freedom, software as you wish to use
> Windows has lots of "freeware" programs, but you would only regard them
> as being free in the sense of no cost. They are not free software
> because they use an Operating system to make them work that is not free
> as in freedom.
I don't agree with this. I am not buying the argument that otherwise
unrestricted software is somehow itself restricted simply because it runs on
a proprietary environment. If we bought that logic, Linux -- and Stallman's
emacs -- cannot be free because they run on proprietary hardware.
> Whether you agree with the stand or not, the modern era of computing and
> the internet started with people wishing to co-operate and share, and
> the community of Linux users has grown because of it. I think its
> important to keep the philosophy of free software to the forefront,
> because that keeps reminding us WHY we're going somewhere and keeps us
> from taking the path of least resistance to get there (and taking away
> some of our freedoms in the process).
Oh, I do agree with that, and think that an ethic that restricts software use
because it doesn't meet someone's personal definition of 'free' violates the
> I'll leave as your description of software being an object and not a
> "living thing", as there are many in the field of AI who would disagree
> with you :-)
Thank god I am not one of them. It cheapens life to think that code can be as
PGP fingerprint: 52A4 B10C AA73 096F A661 92D2 3B65 8EAC ACC5 BA7A
The attachment - signature.asc - is my electronic signature; no need for
alarm. Info @
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Size: 309 bytes
Desc: not available
More information about the kubuntu-users