Subject: Re: "open-source" x "free software"
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 06 May 2004 20:05:16 -0400

"Guilherme C. Hazan" <> writes:

> 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?

Open source does not mean "requires-free-distribution," it means that
no restrictions may be placed on redistribution.  Free software does
not "free of charge," it means free of restrictions.

I strongly encourage you to read about open source here:
I strongly encourage you to read about free software here:

If you do not understand what you read, please feel free to come ask.
Right now it seems to me that you have not tried to really understand
the ways in which people use these terms.

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

Again, there is nothing which requires open source software, by the
usual definition, to be freely distributed.  The requirement is that
no restrictions be placed on redistribution.

Perhaps you want to say that you provide source code with your
software, but you do not permit redistribution.  This is the normal
state of affairs in certain segments of the software industry.  For
example, real time operating systems, which is what I work with,
generally come with complete source code, but normally impose
restrictions on redistribution.  In the general case, I've seen this
scenario described with various different terms: "source code
provided," "source code available," "shared source."

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