[UPHPU] open source software and freedom (was: Zend Studio)

Tyler Gee geekout at gmail.com
Fri Jun 3 16:16:14 MDT 2005

> * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
> * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
> needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
> * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
> (freedom 2).
> * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
> to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3).

While I am not going to argue the merits of Free versus non-Free I do
want to point out that the GPL is not a truly Free license.  After
all, taking your first point, what if my purpose was to take the code
and release a proprietary closed-source program based off of the
open-source code...GPL does not grant you that freedom.  Same with
point two..I cannot adapt it to my needs if I am required to keep my
source code open.  Apple is a good example of this.  They are using
the BSD license to create a closed-source program that they then
charge money for.  However, they then release certain segments of the
code back into the public as open source code to help out neighbors
and community.  This would obviously not be possible under the GPL.

The BSD-style license is much more Free than the GPL.  The difference
is that the GPL has an inherent dis-trust of human beings and the BSD
license does not.  Deciding which is more appropriate for this world
is left as an excercise for the reader...


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