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Re: Open source - Free software

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 10:06:54 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.2 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:

> Barry Margolin wrote:
> [...]
> > And in the GNU and Linux newsgroups, the context establishes that "free
> > software" refers to freedom, 
> And "freedom" as in what, Barry?

Liberty, rights, etc.  From the preamble of the GPL:

  When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not
price.  Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it
if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it
in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.

> > not price.
> Never mind that the GNU [L]GPL "no charge" does refer to price.

Right.  When they want to refer to monetary issues, they're very careful 
to use the word "charge" or "fee", and not simply say "free" (there's 
one place where it says "free of charge" -- this use of the word is not 
ambiguous, because "of charge" makes it clear that price is intended).

Note also that the GPL specifically says that you CAN charge a fee when 
distributing free software.  The license to use and redistribute the 
software must be at no additional charge, but you can charge for the 
service and/or media.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

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