[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Fsfe-uk] Software patent - any action?

From: Chris Lale
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Software patent - any action?
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 18:07:06 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.1) Gecko/20020823 Netscape/7.0

Thanks for the comments.

Chris Croughton wrote:
On Tue, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:44:18PM +0000, Chris Lale wrote:

I also want to explain the meaning of free software to a lay person in my letters. I would welcome comments on the following text, especially where I have made mistakes.

Open-source software and free software are the same in practical terms. They both use the same licence (GPL).

Er, no.  Much, possibly most free and open source software does not use
the GPL (the whole of the BSD code, for a start).  The FSF recognises a
whole set of licences which are compatible with the GPL, and even more
which are "open source" (and possibly even 'free') but are not
compatible with the GPL.

It is even arguable that the GPL itself is not as 'free' as, say, the
BSD licence, since it forces programmers using GPL software to use the
same licence for their own code in some circumstances.

OK. The EU (and the UK government) claim to promote the use of "open source" software. There is no mention of "free software" in http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/oee/oee.nsf/sections/frameworks-oss-policy/$file/oss-policy.htm. I am trying to make a connection between the two. In what way(s) are "open source" and "free software" similar?

Their philosophy is different. Free software is defined in terms of freedoms (freedom to run, study, adapt, redistribute and improve a program). Open-source software is

may be

defined in practical terms (rights attached to a program must allow redistribution and derived works, avoid descrimination, must not be specific to a product or restrict other software, must be technology neutral).

Free software is always open source.  The reverse is not always true.

Good point. Easy to understand.

|  ___   Chris Lale   <address@hidden>                  |
| /   \                                                           |
| | <_/  My PC runs Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (http://www.debian.org). |
| \      Robust, secure and free operating system + applications. |
|  `-                                                             |

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]