Often when talking to friends or family they are unaware that open source is a completely different thing than free-ware.

Are there studies about the awareness of open-source being a separate thing from free-ware/spyware/malware/adware, at least in certain milieus?

  • 3
    Closely related question
    – overactor
    Jun 28, 2015 at 19:36
  • Like always, please please tell us reasoning for down votes during this critical stage of site development.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 28, 2015 at 20:07
  • @Zizouz212 There are 4 close votes cast. I think that's your answer.
    – Mast
    Jun 28, 2015 at 20:19
  • 2
    @Mast I'm not saying that would've. But during a private beta, explanations are critical to help change the site tone and quality.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 28, 2015 at 20:33
  • 4
    I think conflating freeware with spyware/malware/adware makes the question quite complex to answer properly. There are at least three issues to address: FLOSS/freeware confusion, freeware/malware confusion, and perhaps the repackaging of FLOSS with adware on some sites... Jun 29, 2015 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


Common misunderstanding for Free software is thinking as free of charge/cost. If any one just search in google : download free software or free software for... then s/he is actually responded with freeware. But If anyone just tries to search What is free software then s/he is going on right way!

Following topics may helps you to aware the people:-

  • Aware people with Software License to clarify what different terms stands for.


    So, It is clear that spyware/malware/adware are deceptive and/or illicit while free software, open source software are software distributed under free/open-source license and follows definitions

    Freeware is one type of proprietary software (distinguishing with commercial software)

  • The English adjective free is commonly used in one of two meanings: "for zero price" (gratis) and "with little or no restriction" (libre). see Gratis Vs. Libre and "Free beer" vs "free speech" distinction

    "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer." — Richard Stallman

  • Translation of the term "free software"

    This is a list of recommended unambiguous translations for the term “free software” (free as in freedom) into various languages. Also provided translations of “gratis software” in a separate column to show how to make the contrast in various languages.

  • Could you add content to your body, rather than referring people to links as your answer?
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 29, 2015 at 13:56
  • @Zizouz212 which content?
    – Pandya
    Jun 29, 2015 at 13:59
  • Add information
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 29, 2015 at 13:59
  • This doesn't really answer the question.
    – Mnementh
    Jun 29, 2015 at 14:12
  • I've just tried to improve post
    – Pandya
    Jun 29, 2015 at 14:36

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