Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jun 2007 23:09 UTC, submitted by thebluesgnr
GNU, GPL, Open Source The FSF today released version 3 of the GNU GPL, the popular free software license. "Since we founded the free software movement, over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the user's freedom. The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers, and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program," said Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF. This article has some interesting replies from the BSD community (right in the middle).
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RE[3]: GNU/Freedom
by npang on Sat 30th Jun 2007 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: GNU/Freedom"
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

there is no reason why you can't put a price tag on the software itself; you can sell free software, just don't deprive your users the right to share, modify, and publish modifications of your software.


**Everyone is allowed to sell free software**. However, it is not good to deprive users any one of these rights :
0. The right to use the program
1. The right to learn from and improve the program
2. The right to share/sell copies of the program with other people
3. The right to publish improvements made to the program
Access to the source code is a requirement for freedoms 1 and 3. Any software that deprives the user any one of these rights are non-free for that user.

There are essentially two reasons why software should be free for the user:
1) The user cannot have full control of the own computers if they do not have access to what the software is telling the computer to do. A computer program is a set of instructions designed to perform a task or solve a problem. If the program is not performing to the user's requirements, the user should have the right to demand the program to be improved so it does. Being dependant upon the author of the software is not good for the user as the author can be unwilling or unable (dead, missing, in prison) then the user is SOL. With free software, there are literally millions of computer program authors that can help improve the program for a fee.

2) Society is hindered if users are deprived of the right to share and improve upon the knowledge contained within the software. Remember, ideas, information and knowledge are always built upon the information that existed before. Remember that computer programs are designed to solve a problem. It is useless/less useful to the user if the program does not solve the user's requirements. If you give people the right to share and improve upon the knowledge within software, the software becomes a lot more useful to all users of the software and society is progressed because of better working software.

RMS explains all this in more detail in one of his essays. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/shouldbefree.html

ps. please don't tell me that users won't understand computer code. This is irrelevant. Users should not be *artificially* dependant upon the author of that program. Artificial dependancy occurs when the user is required to get the author's permission for improvements.

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