[OSGeo-Discuss] "Free"

Allan Doyle adoyle at eogeo.org
Mon Mar 5 11:46:38 PST 2007

On Mar 5, 2007, at 14:27, Paul Ramsey wrote:
> Au contraire, you'll find the GPL and LGPL duly listed as OSI- 
> approved licenses here: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/
> While the "free" folks might not like the flexibility displayed by  
> the "open source" movement, they can be fully subsumed from a  
> licensing point-of-view, if not an advocacy point-of-view.

On Mar 5, 2007, at 14:33, Ned Horning wrote:
>> The FSF "can't" exist under the Open Source umbrella because they
>> feel some Open Source does not guarantee Freedom over time. The Open
>> Source people can't exist under the Free umbrella because they feel
>> the GPL and its variants are too restrictive.
> Okay, this is the part I don't get. What part of the FSF can't be  
> included
> as open source? To me this sounds like a square saying it can't be a
> rectangle since all of its side have the same length.
> I think of open source as embracing a broad spectrum of licenses  
> including
> all of those supported by the FSF. Should I not be looking at this  
> from a
> licensing perspective?

I stand corrected by Paul from a license point of view. But I believe  
that licenses such as the MIT license <http://opensource.org/licenses/ 
mit-license.php> which are "non-viral" in that they do not require  
that derived works themselves be open source are philosophically at  
odds with the Free Software Foundation's ideals.

Thus to me Free is not a subset of Open Source because the latter  
does not guarantee Freedom in perpetuity. That is what makes people  
think of FSF as a bunch of radical communists, but I think they are  
pretty staunch defenders of a freedom that we would be loathe to lose.


Allan Doyle
adoyle at eogeo.org

More information about the Discuss mailing list