"...In 1998, some of the people in the free software community began using the term "open source software" instead of "free software" to describe what they do. The term "open source" quickly became associated with a different approach, a different philosophy, different values, and even a different criterion for which licenses are acceptable. The Free Software movement and the Open Source movement are today separate movements with different views and goals, although we can and do work together on some practical projects..."

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can.axis's picture
Created by can.axis 11 years 1 week ago – Made popular 11 years 1 week ago
Category: Philosophy   Tags:
J.B.Nicholson-Owens's picture


11 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago


Updated version is available as well.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html is "Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software"--an updated version of this essay which puts a fine point on how powerful, reliable software (the basis on which many people are taught to evaluate software) can be bad. Powerful and reliable DRM would be a horrible thing for users. Relatedly, while free software can be improved to become powerful and reliable, powerful and reliable proprietary software most likely can't be freed. So if you want software freedom and powerful reliable software, you should start with free software and improve it.

I think these two essays are the most underrated essays the GNU Project and the FSF publish. You'd be surprised how often you can refer back to points made in these essays to appropriately frame a discussion you'll find on tech sites or any time a technical topic comes up in the news.