Subject: Re: Unexercisable rights
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 23 Jun 1999 16:40:05 -0400

   Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 16:01:35 -0400
   From: Brian Bartholomew <>

   > Caveat lector: Brian doesn't use the term "free software" the way the
   > rest of us do.  He means "charity software", ie, a gift to the world.

   I learned what the term "free software" means from the example of the
   FSF, which has always acted with charity.

I happen to disagree with your particular historical view, but today,
on this list, it doesn't matter.  The fact is that the rest of us use
the term ``free software'' in a different way.  Or, perhaps, I should
say that we do see the potential confusion, and when we are being
careful we say ``libre software'' and ``gratis software.''  We do not
believe that ``libre'' implies ``gratis,'' nor do we believe the

When you use other definitions for those terms on this list, you fail
to communicate your ideas, because we, the readers of the list, get
caught in misunderstandings.  If your goal is to communicate ideas,
rather than to increase misunderstandings and confusion, then you will
be best served by adopting the conventions of the list.

   I really feel like the meaning of "free software" has drifted (or been
   towed) now that money can be made.  I am particularly unhappy that the
   money appears to be made by discouraging redistribution.

I feel obliged to point out that the belief that some organizations
are making money by discouraging redistribution of libre software is a
conspiracy theory, not a part of consensus reality.