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Re: Open source - Free software

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 17:00:02 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux) (Richard Tobin) writes:

> In article <85ac4kkr0c.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup  <> 
> wrote:
>>>>No, freeware simply means a non-free program that can be distributed
>>>>at no cost.
>>> Where did you get that definition?  I don't think most people's use
>>> of the term excludes free programs.
>>When there is a charge on them, it usually does.  Few people will call
>>Redhat Enterprise Linux "freeware" since you will be hard to put to
>>get it outside of an expensive subscription arrangement, in spite of
>>it being free software.
> So some free software is - in that view - not freeware.  But I was
> denying Alfred's assertion that freeware is necessarily non-free.

While "freeware" is rarely employed as a label for software licensed
under the GPL, even if made available at no cost, that seems not as
much due to the term being wrong, but due to people usually _are_
aware of the license and some of its implications and want to bring
this across.  "freeware" is, however, not uncommonly used as a label
for software collections in the public domain, and those certainly
meet the definitions of free software.

Note that "shareware" is _not_ usually called "freeware" even though
it can be distributed at no cost.  There seems to be some agreement
that "freeware" at least includes the freedom to run a program.

Anyway, I agree with you that Alfred is in an untenable position here.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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