Kermit Snelson on Thu, 20 Dec 2001 21:59:40 +0100 (CET)

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RE: <nettime>The Fading Altruism of Open Source

Florian Cramer:

> By all probability not, because Free Software and Open Source are
> technically the same

This is true, and the fact may be demonstrated by examining the two lists of
licenses evaluated by the Open Source Initiative [1] and the Free Software
Foundation [2] respectively.  Of the dozens of software licenses that may be
clearly identified as being on both lists, only the Apple Public Source
License is considered "open source" by the OSI but "Non-Free" by the FSF.
That one exception may, moreover, be due more to political than technical
reasons.  The FSF accepts the rest as "free software" licenses, although it
nonetheless deprecates many of these as "GPL-Incompatible."

Keith Hart:

> It appears we cant even agree that one major difference between Free
> Software and Open Source/Linux is the attitude to money and hence to
> capitalism.

The two camps have indeed taken very different rhetorical paths to what are
demonstrably identical conclusions.  I am less optimistic than Felix, who
interprets this as evidence of a great movement that is capable of absorbing
"very different, even contradictory ideas."  I see it the other way around,
namely as a single idea that has been absorbing different movements.

There's no other explanation, I think, for the fact that we're hearing so
much group singing lately between left-leaning communitarians and the
libertarian right, and not only on the finer points of software license
agreements.  Keith's recent proposal in this thread to vacate the legal
monopoly of central banks on the issue of legal tender certainly has the
potential to throw yet another log on this cozy campfire.

Kermit Snelson


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