Subject: Re: "open-source" x "free software"
From: Fabian Bastin <fabian.bastin@math.fundp.ac.be>
Date: Fri, 07 May 2004 01:52:09 +0200

First of all, please note that this mail expresses only my personal 
view. I am not a layer, nor a member of OSI or FSF. I apologize if I say 
something wrong.

Guilherme C. Hazan wrote:
> Hi OSI folks,
> 
> Just to abuse a little from your patience.
> 
> Since i already misunderstood the concept of "open-source" (which does not
> only means source-code-available, but also requires-free-distribution), are
> there any other concepts behind "free software", except that they are free
> of charge?

Be careful: free software does not mean free of charge. You can sell 
your copies of the software. What requires free software, as well as 
open-source, is that you give the possibility to your customer to freely 
distribute the your software, with or without modifications. This also 
implies that the customer must have access to the source. 
Free/open-source software also gives the right to use the software 
without restrictions (of time, number of machines, activity, 
country,...). The terms free software and open source are very close. 
Free software express the ideology of the Free Software Foundation: 
freedom in software is ethically good while proprietary software are 
made by bad guys/girls. Open source tries to be more pragmatic: 
open-source softwares are usually better (more stable, more performant) 
than proprietary ones, and economically viable. Moreover, the 
open-source definition is clear and the proposed license, the OSL (Open 
Software Licence) is truly a license, not an ideological text as the GPL.

I suggest that your read the chapter "The Open Source Definition", 
written by Bruce Perens for the book "Open Sources: voice of an open 
source revolution":
Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution
as well as
http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php

Free software is define by Richard Stallman in this page: 
http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

> 2nd question: if i want to say that my software is "open source" but not
> "freely distributed", which term must i use?

I would suggest the term "Shared source", as defined by Microsoft:
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/Licensing/default.mspx
Please note that is not the best place to discuss about shared source, 
since it definitely not open-source. Just look at the comment made by 
Eric Raymond: http://www.opensource.org/docs/sharedsource.php

Regards,

Fabian

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