13

tl;dr: No. It depends on the definitions of the terms "Open Source Software" and "Free Software". A common definition (and in my opinion it’s the one that should be used, otherwise the scope of the terms will be subjective): Free Software is software licensed under an FSF-approved software license. (on the basis of The Free Software Definition) Open ...


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 ...


11

I recommend visiting: Free software movement and Open-source movement for historical point of view free software for freedom, full article open-source-misses-the-point and When Free Software Isn't (Practically) Superior for a Philosophic point of view Philosophy of the GNU project is closely relevant with Free software movement and hence free software ...


11

You're not really saying open source is a finite resource (something I wouldn't agree with) but that open source developers are a finite resource. And yes, obviously the community can only do that much. It's pretty obvious that paid developers can do much more than people doing stuff in their spare time. A paid developer can work 8 hours a day, five days a ...


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

From Open Source Initiatives FAQ: "Free software" and "open source software" are two terms for the same thing: software released under licenses that guarantee a certain, specific set of freedoms. Open Source arose from people who supported the FSF, but later branched out over the decision of philosophy and marketing. There are differences, of course, ...


9

The right to fork refers to forking as in taking a software project and maintaining it separately from the original. Having the right to fork a work means having the right to modify your own copy. In the context of freely distributable works, the right to fork means having the right to redistribute modified copies. The practical importance of the right to ...


8

That's pretty basic: an open source license is irrevocable. Code that was released once under the terms of an open source license can always be used under these terms if someone mirrored it so it is still available. If you change your mind it means that you cannot retract your earlier decision. You only can enforce a new license on new contributions, but if ...


8

The problem with a concept like 'transparency' is that it is multi-layered. Being able to see the source code is an important aspect, but not all of it. When we talk about transparency in an organization's process, it means that we not only see the results of decisions (code changes in this context) but the reasoning behind the decisions. Even for large ...


7

Nowadays, most FLOSS (free/libre/open-source software) projects have a public code repository, which everyone can browse. But historically this wasn't always the case. Part of the reason was of course that in the early days of free software, the tools for version control weren't as good as they are today (CVS, the first freely available version control ...


7

The main difference is philosophical, and so subtle that it is easy to miss because it is not in any licence or list. It is that open source tends emphasize quality, reviewability, correctness and community whereas free software focuses on personal liberty, speech, and opportunity. Both camps endorse the others goals as good, just not quite as important to ...


5

Being allowed to fork a piece of software simply means that you're allowed to redistribute a version of the software with changes you made, even if they're not merged back into the original piece of software. All free/open source software allows this: a free software license allows you to redistribute the software, even if you change it. As the Wikipedia ...


5

To me, the following part of the Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software article sums up the difference (emphasis by me): Some of the supporters of open source considered the term a “marketing campaign for free software,” which would appeal to business executives by highlighting the software's practical benefits, while not raising issues ...


5

While the goal is to eliminate proprietary software, effective Free Software activists understand that their time is valuable and limited, so prioritise working on the problems that will yield the most benefit. Hard drive firmware is rarely updated and doesn't communicate with the outside world. We would love hard drives to run free software, but this is a ...


5

The Free Software Foundation has said that if you can't install software on it, it's not a computer: The ethical issues of free software arise because users obtain programs and install them in computers; they don't really apply to hidden embedded computers, or the BIOS burned in a ROM, or the microcode inside a processor chip, or the firmware that is ...


4

Firmware in rom is easy to "rationalise away". The user can rationalise it as "just part of the hardware". The operating system distributor can rationalise it as "i'm not shipping it so it's not my problem". The advocate can rationalise it as "something the user already has". Loading firmware through the driver brings the problem to the forefront. Now ...


4

A company would be "put in risk" if it's entire offering is compromised, and it can't adapt to a changing market. This has less to do with the existence of open source alternatives to a product and more with poor management. One could make the argument, though, that revenue loss due to open source alternatives happens all the times. Every time someone ...


3

Yes, they exist. When we call software “free,” we mean that it respects the users' essential freedoms: the freedom to run it, to study and change it, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of “free speech,” not “free beer.” ... Since the obvious meaning for “open source” is not the ...


3

I don't believe that either the free or the open source approach to software or to anything else has any detrimental effect on innovation. Some people innovate motivated by financial gain. Other people innovate with motives other than financial. The patent system and the copyright system provide the financial gain for those people who are motivated by it, ...


2

Sometimes a software simply being open source doesn't destroy proprietary softwares. It's a matter of quality and​ getting productive. If an open source alternative software can offer more useful features, then most organizations would prefer it instead of proprietary.


2

The right to fork is essentially the same as the right to derive. They both grant the user a right to develop your work further. The right to fork specifically has come about from hosting platforms like GitHub, whose primary deriving mechanism is forking. It's simply a different version of right to derive that makes more sense for our current ways of ...


1

Permit me to first go for kicking in the open door. The ability to fork can override the copyright owner's desires if and only if it's not the owners desire that the project is forked. Permissive licenses were specifically invented for this. It is possible that not every larger project will play out as this scenario, but it is certainly the intention of ...


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