Subject: "rights" and "freedoms"
From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 15:26:11 -0700

> It is a simple fact that the Open Source movement rejects the idea of
> talking about users's freedom as an issue in its own right.  If you ask
> them, they will say so themselves.

The OSD rationale uses the word "right" a lot, but it does not use the word
"freedom".  Some of this is a hair-split, since the OSD rationale calls many
of the same things "rights" that the FSF philosophy calls "freedoms".
However, I agree they are not the same.

I often use the word "rights" when I talk about Open Source.  Some of the
time I mean the same things as FSF means by "freedoms", and some of the time
I mean things that FSF considers anathema, such as a right to be reasonably
compensated for one's work.  I prefer to use the word "rights" because while
all freedoms may be considered rights, not all rights are freedoms in the
sense that FSF uses the word (which I believe is always in the sense of
freedom to do something), and I believe it is important to bring those other
rights into the discussion and to talk about licenses as balancing a variety
of rights.


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