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osOpinion: Software Freedom

[ Thanks to Kelly
McNeill
for this link. ]

“My dictionary has fifteen definitions of “free”, along with 36
sub-definitions. My dictionary also has two definitions for
“freedom” with ten sub-definitions. What then does the “free” in
“Free Software” really mean? What is the Free Software
Foundation trying to tell us when they say Free Software is about
“freedom?

“The Free Software Foundation takes great pains to explain that
Free Software is not about price or the absence of cost, but about
freedom. But they do not define “freedom”, taking it for granted
that the reader knows exactly what they are talking about. They
also bemoan the fact that English has only word for “free” whereas
other languages have two; French as both “gratis” and “libre”. But
again, they fail to define “free”. Since “free” and “freedom” are
highly emotional words, it is important that they are properly
defined in relation to Free Software (1). But as I mentioned above,
my dictionary has two definitions for “freedom”. The first
definition is “the quality or state of being free”. The second
definition is “a political right”. There are many sub-definitions
as well.”


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