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Questions tagged [free-software-definition]

Questions about the definition of free software according to the Free Software Foundation

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22 votes
3 answers

Can a software license meet one of the FSF's and OSI's definitions without meeting the other?

I know that Free Software (this means the concept of free as in freedom, not software that does not cost anything) and Open Source have two distinct definitions. In practice though, they turn out to ...
Mnementh's user avatar
  • 11.3k
22 votes
1 answer

SSPL and the Open Source Definition

MongoDB has decided to change the licensing of MongoDB Community Server, seemingly to prevent businesses from monetizing on their product without giving anything back:
Mans Gunnarsson's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software?

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software? I was recently asked this and realized I was unsure the exact answer. I understand that free software is not a type of open source software, but I ...
Trevor Clarke's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

Are discriminatory free licenses still free?

With free licenses, one cannot restrict who or how the software is used. Suppose that I construct a license that says: If you are not Steve you are permitted to license under A; if you are Steve ...
congusbongus's user avatar
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35 votes
8 answers

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around why copyleft libre software advocates say they advocate for "free as in free speech" software, rather than monetarily free software, when it seems ...
Lysanderoth's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer

Why is the Reciprocal Public License OSI-approved but not FSF-approved?

The Reciprocal Public License (RPL) is interesting in that it is the only license both OSI-approved and not FSF-approved. It is a copyleft license similar to GPL but with a "reciprocal" clause: ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,949
10 votes
4 answers

What is the relation and/or difference between freeware and free software?

Freeware and free software sound very similar. What is the relation between them?
Martijn's user avatar
  • 9,344
2 votes
1 answer

Understanding a Perl module license

Can someone clarify these claims: This module is free software you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. Copyright (C) year Some Author. All Rights Reserved It ...
user394010's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Can FOSS software make API calls to proprietary systems?

I'm not sure if the distinction between free and open source software makes a difference for this question, so I'll use the term FOSS. Can a FOSS platform make API calls to proprietary systems, such ...
Wynne's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers

Is software still free if it uses nonfree APIs?

I am making a piece of software and I plan to have it interact with the Discord API, which I know is nonfree because it expressly prohibits freedom 1 (the freedom to look at and modify the source ...
sugarfi's user avatar
  • 330
0 votes
1 answer

How much of my code becomes GPL if I use some GPL code and how different does my code have to be to not be GPL?

I'm new to coding and I've found a lot of useful information regarding this question by reading online, but for whatever reason I simply can't find a simple answer to this. It's about using other ...
Ikari's user avatar
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