37

Software is free (as defined by the FSF) if it gives you the four freedoms: The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The freedom to redistribute copies so ...


22

(Update 2019-03-09: MongoDB retracted the license from OSI review.) Does the SSPL have a chance of getting OSI-approved? Yes, of course there's a chance, though currently it looks like a rather slim one. The SSPL is significantly stricter than the AGPL. The SSPL puts additional conditions on […] offering a service the value of which entirely or ...


14

Freeware is software that is released and can be downloaded and used without cost. No other rights are implied by the freeware label (although the author might offer more). So freeware doesn't imply: access to the source code commercial use right to redistribute right to change All things free software does allow. Free software is defined by the four ...


12

One of the most helpful analogies I've ever heard compares software development to government: Lots of people like democratic governance. Some people like democracy because it produces the best results that maximize happiness of its citizens. Other people like democracy because they believe people have a moral right to have their voices be part of their ...


12

What you describe is usually called freeware. The FSF does not consider freeware to be free software, considering it to be proprietary software, and asks people not to call free software freeware. So such a software package would not be permitted in the Ubuntu universe repository.


11

Was the software(before 1970's) released with free source? Well, there was surely software released with and without free source, and lots of machine code software where the distinction was of minor concern, but I guess the point is the majority of software was released without a written license. Moreover, don't forget at that time there was no internet, ...


11

Yes. See the examples from my answer to the question "Is Open Source Software a subset of free software?": Example 1: Free Software, but not Open Source Software Netscape’s early versions of Mozilla were released under the Netscape Public License version 1.0 (see its Wikipedia article). This license is approved by the FSF, but it is not ...


10

However, I was under the impression that there is still some debates about what does or does not constitutes a free software licence? I don't think there are still any serious debates about this. However, assuming this question is an earnest one, there are two recognized definitions of of Free Software: The Free Software Definition by the FSF, where the ...


10

The answer is "no". While the new license you've constructed has at is basis two well-known free licenses, it is still a different license and it obviously fails the the Open Source Definition: The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons. Apart from the definition, something should also be said of the problems this "license" ...


10

No, CC-BY-ND isn't Open Source. It violates rule 3 of the Open Source Definition: Derived Works The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software. It also violates the freedom 3 of the Free Software Definition: The freedom to ...


9

The Open Source Initiative can sort of be thought of the branch of Free Software that became its own tree. The term "free software" is older, and is reflected in the name of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), an organization founded in 1985 to protect and promote free software. The term "open source" was coined in 1998 by a group of people — the founders ...


9

Your question is very unclear and confused, but the simple answer is: before the 1970s, software wasn't copyrightable in the US, so the very idea of "licensing" doesn't apply. You cannot put a copyright license on something that isn't copyrightable. In the US, companies started to argue that computer program source code was protected as a literary work, and ...


7

You have stumbled, like many others, across a basic ambiguity in English which does not exist in many other languages; the word free has more than one meaning. The important thing about free software is that it is free as in speech, not as in beer. That is, it is about freedom, not about zero-cost. Often it is zero-cost as well, but that is a side-effect, ...


7

You're reading too much into the analogy: "free as in speech" is by opposition to "free as in gratis", to help people understand that "free" is about freedom, not price. The FSF don't claim that free software is like freedom of speech (at least not that I'm aware!). As is usual with software (which doesn't mean it's not controversial), the FSF's free ...


6

"Freeware" is free as in free beer. "Free software" is free as in freedom. The difference is elaborated on in the answers to this question. Among the restrictions commonly imposed on freeware are: No source code is provided (so you cannot adapt or review for security holes). No permission to adapt, even if source code is provided. Restrictions on type of ...


6

I don't think your question admits of an answer better than "you are right, it's not a great idea". But it may help to know you're not the only person who thinks this way. I heard Georg Greve, ex-president of the FSFE, talk about the hardware-trust problem, and possible solutions from the Open Power Foundation, at FOSDEM 2017. We need hardware to run ...


5

The FSF says: Reciprocal Public License (#RPL) The Reciprocal Public License is a nonfree license because of three problems. 1. It puts limits on prices charged for an initial copy. 2. It requires notification of the original developer for publication of a modified version. 3. It requires publication of any modified version that an organization uses, ...


5

In general, there's no more or less consequence to publishing controversial proprietary software than there is for free software. Regardless of how you license it, software is software, and people will react to it how they choose. The fact that you've released the source and granted redistribution and modification rights for your controversial software doesn'...


5

Why does Freeware and Free Software sounds similar? The English adjective free is commonly used in one of two meanings: "for zero price" (gratis) and "with little or no restriction" (libre). So, "free" is ambiguous (i.e. freedom/cost). For clear understanding visit the wikipedia article : Gratis versus libre. Definition Freeware: Freeware is computer ...


5

Comparison of free and open-source software licenses > Approvals Example:- NASA Open Source Agreement is open source but not free software. Quoted from: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#NASA:- The NASA Open Source Agreement, version 1.3, is not a free software license because it includes a provision requiring changes to be your “original ...


4

Answering this is a bit like trying to nail jelly to a wall as it depends on what software we're talking about and the definition of "free". In the timeframe you describe, the sheer number of machines was far lower than it is now. Coupled with this is the fact that a lot of the software was bespoke to the business or closely aligned with the machine. As ...


4

The Free Software Definition (from the FSF) is: A program is free software if the program's users have the four essential freedoms: The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a ...


4

IMHO the existence of a book which provides detailed guidance and instruction on the use of a tool, but which costs money, does not negate the FLOSS nature of the product itself. Though admittedly a weak analogy, gcc meets all the criteria for Free Software. But to really master C++ or C you will inevitably need to read some books on the subject, and many ...


4

The CC BY-ND is not compatible with either the OSI's Open Source definition or the FSF's Free Software Definition. That said, the FSF still considers it to have an appropriate use that is compatible with their movement: to licence opinions and testimonies. The licence shouldn't be used for documentation or project assets, but they do consider it to be ...


4

If software is distributed to you under terms that do not allow you to run, modify, and redistribute the software, then that distribution does not meet the Open Source Initiative's Open Source Definition nor the Free Software Foundation's four freedoms. The FLOSS ("free, libre, and open source software") community refers to software that has public source ...


4

You should certainly remove the statement from your distribution going forward, but here are several points to consider to put your mind at ease about your past mistake: "Free software" is not a legal term of art, and has two common meanings even in everyday usage: the English word "free" admits both "freedom-respecting software" and "software available ...


3

The FSF lists the CC BY-ND license under a different category: Licenses for Works stating a Viewpoint (e.g., Opinion or Testimony) The introduction says (bold emphasis mine): Because of this, we expect them to provide recipients with a different set of permissions: just the permission to copy and distribute the work verbatim. So it’s not a license that ...


3

You said “hardware”, not specifically “PC” hardware, so let’s talk about why Free software on Proprietary hardware might make sense in this IoT world we’re living in. First, let me say that I’ll be using the work “hardware” here to apply to the entire device, not just the CPU or MCU. Ok, so I buy a new smart thermostat for my house. Don’t ask me what’s so ...


3

Putting a copyright text for license with the source code does not normally complete the licensing process According to the GPL, it does: If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms. ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible