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Re: Open source - Free software

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 15:34:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Al Klein <rukbat@pern.invalid> writes:

> On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 05:51:06 +0200, David Kastrup <> wrote:
>>Al Klein <rukbat@pern.invalid> writes:
>>> And, in the English-speaking world, "free" is almost always (let's
>>> say by millions to one, at least) used, when used with a product, to
>>> mean "with no charge".  *VERY FEW* people use free as in freedom
>>> when using it to modify the name of a product or product type.
>>When we are talking about the sort of medium in which expressions are
>>subject to copyright?
> No, when we're using the term free software or the word freeware.

Software is a medium in which expressions are subject to copyright.
Welcome to the 21st century.

>>Free speech, free press, free software, patent free, free arts?
> Free gas, free milk, free beer?

Those happen not to be subject to copyright.

> The press, patents and the arts aren't items that get sold -
> software, gas, milk and beer are.

Software is not sold.  CDs with software on them to it are sold,
usually along with the right to run them (unless we are talking
shareware and similar annoyances).

> Think of the children's learning game, "which of these doesn't
>belong?"  Software doesn't belong with the press, patents and the

I am afraid that you need to get out of the stone age at some point of

The very _definition_ of software is that it is, in contrast to
hardware, intangible.  Unlike gas, milk and beer.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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