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Re: [OT] Free software vs non-free, here we go again

2015/10/01 2:24 "Doug" <dmcgarrett@optonline.net>:
> On 09/30/2015 07:37 AM, tomas@tuxteam.de wrote:
> /snip/
>> The letter of the law my dear Shylock, the letter.
>> But in spirit, Open Source and Free Software couldn't be more different.
>> The one is about a more efficient software production model, the other
>> about the user's rights.
>> But such "spirit" things are difficult to grasp at times :-)
>> In practice, and technically, most Open Source software is Free, and all
>> Free Software is Open Source. But watch those folks in a corporate
>> environment awkwardly avoiding the F word -- or read Bruce Perens, one
>> of those who coined Open Source writing that in hindsight it may have
>> been a mistake to realize that the people behind those flavors are
>> quite different.
> This whole (OT) discussion perverts the meaning of the word "free."*
> In common usage, the word "free" means you do not have to pay money for it.
> Therefore, the example given above is incorrect: all free software is NOT
> open source: Firefox and Thunderbird are prime examples of free software
> which is not open source that probably most users of Linux are using today.
> They[re _free_ becasue you didn't have to pay for it. simple as that.
> --doug
> * The American Heritage Dictionary shows "free" first in regard to
> slavery, or arrest, etc. It goes on to discuss politics and free vs.
> dictatorship. It eventually gets to "costing nothing; gratuitous:
> _a free pass." All of these are certainly in common usage, but the
> idea of "free" applying to software that one may share seems to be
> unique to some Linux users. If you were to ask the average American
> what his first definition of "free" would be, I would bet that he'd
> say, "You don't have to pay for it."

When my wife talks about "o-make", the whole family, including her, knows that the freebie in question is a trade for our attention, and induces a sense of obligation to buy that she will have to remind us to ignore if we avail ouselves of the freebie.

She is not a Linux user, except when she tells me to move over and let her read her e-mail. She doesn't want a computer at all, even though the Sony big tablets Docomo is selling double as TVs.

She understands that free-as-in-beer is a deception.

Your average person does not exist, any more than free-as-in-beer exists.

It is a fact that politicians will use and abuse the common temptation to ignore the responsibilities that are part-and-parcel of freedom. That fact is not tantamount to legitamizing a false modal as a standard definition.

If you don't like what I'm telling you, read this


carefully before you reply.

Joel Rees

Computer memory is just fancy paper,
CPUs just fancy pens.
All is a stream of text
flowing from the past into the future.

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