[OSGeo-Discuss] "Free"

Silke Reimer reimer at rapideye.de
Tue Mar 6 00:57:24 PST 2007

On Monday 05 March 2007, watry at steam.coaps.fsu.edu wrote:
> Now class! Please pay attention!!
> According to the Free Software Foundation
> Free software is software that comes with permission for anyone to use,
> copy, and distribute, either verbatim or with modifications, either
> gratis or for a fee. In particular, this means that source code must be
> available
> The term "open source" software is used by some people to mean more or
> less the same category as free software. It is not exactly the same
> class of software: they accept some licenses that FSF consider too
> restrictive, and there are free software licenses they have not
> accepted. However, the differences in extension of the category are
> small: nearly all free software is open source, and nearly all open
> source software is free. FSF prefer the term "free software" because it
> refers to freedom--something that the term "open source" does not do.
> Non-free software is any software that is not free. This includes
> semi-free software and proprietary software. Semi-free software is
> software that is not free, but comes with permission for individuals to
> use, copy, distribute, and modify (including distribution of modified
> versions) for non-profit purposes. PGP is an example of a semi-free
> program. Proprietary software is software that is not free or
> semi-free. Its use, redistribution or modification is prohibited, or
> requires you to ask for permission, or is restricted so much that you
> effectively can't do it freely
> The term "freeware" has no clear accepted definition, but it is
> commonly used for packages which permit redistribution but not
> modification (and their source code is not available). These packages
> are not free software, so please don't use "freeware" to refer to free
> software. Shareware is software which comes with permission for people
> to redistribute copies, but says that anyone who continues to use a
> copy is required to pay a license fee. Class Dismissed
> P.s. Taken from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html

Thanks for this one! I have been close to write this email for myself reading 
the discussion about the definitions of FS and OS.



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