[ubuntu-uk] Free vs non-free drivers etc

Neil Greenwood neil.greenwood.lug at gmail.com
Fri Nov 17 08:47:39 GMT 2006

On 17/11/06, Caroline Ford <caroline.ford.work at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Free (as in software) means freedom, not money. This is why some people
> (myself included) prefer the terms Open Source or Software Libre. I
> think in English when people hear the term free they always think of
> money first.

Sorry to be pedantic, but Open Source is not the same as Free/Libre.
This isn't meant as a put-down or a dig, just a clarification.

The emphasis is slightly different. Open Source doesn't (always) have
the freedom aspect, at least not all four freedoms from the GPL
(paraphrased here):
 - freedom to run
 - freedom to study
 - freedom to redistribute
 - freedom to change and release

Software Libre or FLOSS seem to be the best terms to use.

You can still be asked to pay for Free (as in speech) software, it's
just that the free market will set the maximum price that the vendor
can charge. If they set it too high, you're free to set yourself up in
competition and undercut them. I think the only restriction in the GPL
on charging is that users can't be penalised financially when
requesting the source code, which normally means that one price
provides both binary and source...

I'm not a lawyer, so take all I've said with a pinch of salt and don't
rely on it without doing your own research.


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