Subject: So what is an FSB anyway?
From: scottm@intime.intime.COM
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 93 19:31:31 PST

Noah| What kind of "free software" are we generally to be discussing on this
Noah| list?  Freedom in terms of liberty, or freedom in terms of price?

What is "Freedom in terms of liberty?" Liberty to do what? Change the
program? Change the source? I'm finding that the more people bandy
this term around, the more nebulous it becomes. If you are going to
define it, define it in terms that are not "emotionally" charged, i.e.
"selfishness." Or tell us where to put the emotional content.

Noah| You will generally have 3 types of users using a program.

Noah|    A) Users who need no support at all. 
Noah|    B) Users who need to make changes to a program but know how to do it
Noah|       themselves and don't mind doing the work. 
Noah|    C) Users who need third-party support. 

Noah| If these users have to deal with businesses operating on the
Noah| monetary definition of "free software", groups B and C are stuck
Noah| with software which is essentially proprietary: they have to go
Noah| to vendor for any changes they need, however trivial, and they
Noah| take the potential risk of poor support (mentioned below) due to
Noah| the monopoly.

Huh? If group B is essentially self-sufficient, then why do they need
to go to the vendor for support? Or am I reading something that you
omitted?

Noah| Said businesses and users also don't get free bug fixes and
Noah| ports from other users, since no one has the sources.  In other
Noah| words, such software does not build a community of users helping
Noah| each other.  It is essentially proprietary.

Altruism defeating itself?

Noah| This is one reason why making the software free (in terms of liberty) is
Noah| important to users who might want support.  That way there is an open
Noah| market and an incentive to do the best job of any competitors.

-scottm