Free Software Magazine: Free, Open or Proprietary?
Dec 22, 2005, 02:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Chance)
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[ Thanks to Dave Guard for this
"Software is a tool, a compilation of code that directs computer
hardware, a program that empowers people to work more productively.
Before Richard Stallman founded the GNU Project, many outside of
hacker communities would have reasonably asked: why on earth is the
ethics of software distribution philosophically interesting? But by
formalising hacker conventions, Stallman kickstarted a revolution
in the industry that now raises profound questions about areas of
philosophical interest, most notably property. However, the precise
differences between Stallman's conception of 'free software,' the
term 'open source" and the alternative: 'proprietary' are often
confused. This article seeks to disentangle the issues and present
a clear analysis of each approach to software licensing..."