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informIT: The Cost of Free Software

Dec 12, 2005, 08:30 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Chisnall)

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"To the Free Software Foundation, the cost of software is irrelevant. When they selected the term free software, freedom, not money, was primarily on their minds. The fact that English uses the same word to represent both liberty and lack of cost was one of the reasons for the creation of the open source movement. To avoid confusion, we'll adopt the Free Software Foundation's convention of using gratis and libre to refer to cost and freedom, respectively.

"To an outsider, the free software movement and the open source movement may resemble the 'Judean Peoples' Front' and the 'Peoples' Front of Judea...'"

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