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July 08, 2007



The Free Software Foundation has always promoted Free Software. Go research Richard Stallman.

That being said - Free Software is NOT the same thing as Open Source.

Software from the FSF is licensed so that any derivative works are susceptible to the same licensing terms, thus you MUST supply your source code back to the community along with the licensing rights.

The two major loopholes to this were in terms of 'bundled components' and software patents. The new license is indeed more aggressive and this is done purposefully to plug these loopholes.

The FSF license is meant to jam the legal licensing filter open. Free Software uses the word 'free' like 'free speech' rather than say 'free beer'. The Right to use it rather than not paying anything for it.

Licensing in general is about restricting other people's Rights to alter and/or redistribute your work. The spirit of CopyLeft is to give away your Rights to the work in Trust that they will remain free.

Your description blurs the lines of both movements.

The objectives of the FSF are neither hidden nor subversive. You must make the distinction of which camp you are in - Open Source or Free Software.

The nature of the choice you make is the same as it is when considering adhering an ANY licensing terms. If you don't like the license - don't use the software in your projects. Period.


I know hypotheticals are dangerous things but in your opinion if the Linux community adopted GPL v3 en masse would it be the end of companies grabbing the Linux kernel or Linux OS and building their offerings on top of them?

The FSF have stated that this is an attempt to put a stop to the "TiVoization" of Free Software, would GPL v3 therefore exclude or hinder the growth of Linux in the appliance/embedded OS markets?


finally someone with some insight discusses the gpl and the rest of the world. thanks for this.

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