Subject: Re: GNU License for Hardware
From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 12:43:43 -0600 (MDT)

    The answer could very well be that both terms are synonymous, therefore
    perfectly fine.

Free Software and Open Source software are not the same.  In their
narrower meanings, they are categories of software licenses.  The
categories are close, but not identical.  In their broader meanings,
they are names of bundles of ideas.  The ideas are quite different.

    However, if the two terms are synonymous, then I have to wonder why you
    insist on disparaging the use of the term "open source software", and
    more generally the efforts of

I don't disparage the basic approach of the Open Source movement.  I
say I agree with what they say as far as it goes, but they do not go
far enough.  I speak about the Free Software movement, ask people to
support the Free Software movement, and ask people to be mention that
the GNU Project and the GPL are part of the Free Software movement and
not the Open Source movement.

I urge people to use the term "free software" as a sign of support for
the Free Software movement.  That is not disparagement, it is simply
being part of another movement.

    (In a similar vein, I have
    to question your attacks on Linus Torvalds,

I do not attack Linus Torvalds.  Where did you get that idea?

    I'm not much of a movement person, but if I had to describe a movement
    that addresses my concerns and interests, it would be something like
    "Software Users for Better Value".

You seem to agree with the Open Source movement more than with the
Free Software movement.  If so, it would make sense for you to join
the former.  I hope that you will treat the Free Software movement
with respect even if you are not participating in it.

    Most users, frankly, do not care a whit for your four freedoms. 

I am sure that is true.  But some do.  I am looking for those who might
care about them, so that I can awaken their concern.

Your statement goes beyond stating disagreement; you are disparaging
concern for freedom on the (irrational) grounds that most people do
not agree with it.  People in the Open Source movement often disparage
the Free Software movement in that way.  Would you please not do it

    I think the antagonism between OSS people and FS people distracting
    and counterproductive and largely pointless. I wish you would cut it

The antagonism comes from them; you will have to talk with them about
ending it.