Subject: Re: Sun, BSD, and GNU
From: Arkin <>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 17:36:46 -0400

Let's summarize:

* Gratis -- zero cost, you pay nothing for using the software

* Libre -- freedom, you can do with the software as you wish (as long as
you do not hinder other people's right to freedom)

* Free software (as in GPL) -- an attempt to assure gratis and libre

* Open source -- an attempt to assure gratis and libre and allow for
commercial development and usage

* Open development -- getting actual developers to contribute to the
development of software


Russell Nelson wrote:
> Arkin writes:
>  > * GPL protects against commercial interest -- admit it or not, a fair
>  > share of the movement today is anti to some large corporation we all
>  > know.
> We need to use language carefully on this list, because our
> (corporate) interests lie precisely where the usual terms are
> ambiguous.  I'd like to *ban* the word "free", prefering instead to
> use "libre" for freedom and "gratis" for zero-cost.  I'd also like
> people to be particularly careful about the distinction between
> commercial and proprietary.  There is nothing inherent in libre code
> that makes it commercial or not.  Of course, by definition it's never
> proprietary.  Gratis code, on the other hand, can be commercial (a
> loss leader, or tied to the sale of hardware) or proprietary (not
> freely copyable -- for example, Internet Explorer must be downloaded
> only from a Microsoft site.  It is not freely copyable even though
> it's free).
>  > Open Development seem to be the key word. If you do not get the mind
>  > share of people, then your code may be fully OpenSource(tm) compliant,
>  > but going nowhere. This is a movement about people, about the ability of
>  > people to communicate, and the removal of boundaries so people can
>  > freely associate regardles of limitations.
> Yup.  Good point.
> --
> -russ nelson <>
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