Subject: Re: Be and free software
From: Ben_Tilly@trepp.com
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 10:51:59 -0500


Russell Nelson writes:
> Bradley M. Kuhn writes:
[...]
>  > Also, I believe at one point there existed a license that was open source
>  > (OSI approved) but not free software.  I don't know if that is still the
>  > case or not.  Can anyone comment?
>
> All OSI certified Open Source software is free software.  Period.  End
> of sentence.

Only if you agree with OSI definition and the way that OSI interprets it.

The example of the latter that Bradley might be thinking of is Darwin.
IIRC, when Apple came out with Darwin, ESR said that it passed the OSI
definition but many others looked at it and thought that it was not free
software.

An example showing the former to be problematical is the one just discussed
where Cygnus does piece-work for a chip company to create for them modified
GPLed software (eg a port of gcc).  The copyright on the modifications is
now owned by the chip company, who also has the source-code.  But the
software is not being distributed and source is nowhere available.  Is that
software currently free?  It probably will become so, and they are limited
in what they can do without making it free.  But is it before they release
it?

Cheers,
Ben