Skype is not free software

William Anderson william.anderson at
Mon Sep 27 17:30:59 UTC 2004

Benjamin Edwards wrote:
> 'gratis software' as opposed to 'free software' or 'open source 
> software' - I kind of like this as succinct way of making the distinction.

when using "gratis", the distinction isn't made clear.  Free Software 
means it can be freely (re-)distributed, freely used, freely modified, 
etc.  Simply defining it as 'not free of charge' fails to suitably cover 
  'non-free', as non-free software exists which is certainly not Free, 
where Free means unencumbered by capability to redistribute and/or 
modify freely, but is certainly free of cost or charge.

Think about the nVidia drivers - they cost nothing to download, but you 
are encumbered by the licence nVidia releases them under, and you have 
no source to recompile / modify / tweak / etc.  Those drivers are free 
of charge, but not Free as in libre.

William Anderson
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