Re: Working Within the System

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 09:13:51 MDT

On Tue, May 02, 2000 at 08:17:37AM +0100, Charlie wrote:
> On Mon, May 01, 2000 at 12:33:14PM -0700, Zero Powers wrote:
> > >The issue isn't downloads, its hardcopy, and I'd be very interested in
> > >finding sources of cds for 2-3 dollars. The utility cost of downloading
> > >100M or more, especially if your local phone usage rates are not capped,
> > >is less than going out and buying the CD.
> >
> > So for you, software isn't free unless the supplier puts it onto some
> > physical storage medium and brings it to you for no charge? If that's the
> > case then, for you, there will probably never be STAAFL.
> The issue here is linguistic; we'd be better off speaking in French.
> In English, we have one word, "free", that can be used in different
> contexts; "you can drink as much free beer as you can" versus "you have
> complete freedom of speech". The first meaning is, "you do not have to
> pay for this". The second is, "nobody may legally stop you from doing
> this." Free software, by the OSD and the FSF, adheres to the second
> definition; whether it also adheres to the first is irrelevant. And the
> fact that free software is software liberty is one that the press tend
> to get confused over -- never mind the business community (who don't
> generally think in terms of civil rights), and the public.

The term 'free software' causes a lot of problems - this was the reason
for the adoption of 'open source' by Eric Raymond when forming the OSI.


| Martin J. Ling              Tel: +44 (0)20 8863 2948   |
|      Fax: +44 (0)20 8248 4025   |
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