[Linux-aus] Who defines Open Source?
leon-linuxaus at cyberknights.com.au
Wed Feb 8 11:05:02 UTC 2006
On Wednesday 08 February 2006 08:42, Senectus . wrote:
> If the source is open then the software _must_ also be free, of
> course people _can_ pay for it if they want it compiled or package or
> supported (even if they just feel like paying for it to be nice).
Much confusion of terms. I said Free, you said free. Hereinafter, these
are defined as libre (as in, liberated) vs gratis (as in, no money
changes hands) respectively.
Three separate concepts:
* Free [Libre] Software - source is available with right to use
and must remain so;
* Open Source - source is available with right to use but
derivatives may not be so bound (e.g. BSD style licence);
* Freeware - pay nothing for it (and often get full value for
aforesaid money), source availability and right to use same
are not relevant here.
Libre and Open typically imply Gratis but Libre explicitly does not
require it, and nor does "merely" Open require Gratis. Libre requires
Open, Open does not require Libre. Gratis does not imply either Libre
The identification of Libre with Gratis is becoming more common as
companies decide that charging for Libre is too much like hard work,
and simply charge for peripheral services such as support and
There are also "mixed" models like MySQL, in which the software is
available Libre-and-Gratis under the GPL, or non-Gratis if you want to
lift the "curse" of the GPL from it (i.e. if you want a proprietary
fork, and good luck keeping it alive and separate). Arjen, please
correct me here if I got any of this wrong.
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