Subject: Re: Be and free software
From: "Bradley M. Kuhn" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 10:32:14 -0500

DJ Delorie wrote:
> > What's the difference between free software and open source?
> "Free software" means you are always guaranteed the right to the
> sources for software you have, and it means little else.  It is a
> narrow goal, designed to solve one person's problem.
> "Open source" is well-defined (by the osd, of course) but allows for
> software that may become non-free (i.e. BSD license).  It allows, but
> does not guarantee, the perpetuity of the right to sources.  It is a
> much broader categorization of software, attempting to collect a wide
> range of projects into a single name.

BSD licensed software is free software!

The main difference in my mind is mostly that free software is about freedom
and ethics, and open source is not.

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?

> > In other words, once something becomes open source, the free
> > software community can take it and run with it.
> Netscape's NPL?  Can you redistribute those under the terms of the GPL?

I don't know if NPL is even open source.  MPL is free software but not
compatible with the GPL.

         -  -  Bradley M. Kuhn  -  -