[Ilugc] Regarding FOSS

Vamsee Kanakala vamlists at gmail.com
Sun Jun 18 01:12:24 IST 2006


Chakkaradeep C C wrote:
> Does FOSS mean, that, the word "Free" is actually meaning "without 
> cost" or
> as in GPL ?
>
It can mean both Free as in Free Beer and Free as Freedom. GPL is not 
the only licence that defines "free software". It just says how your 
'free' software might be used.

> Suppose i say, i have an application which is Licensed GPL, but you 
> need to
> pay Rs.x to get the source as well as binary, will this be considered 
> under
> FOSS or simply Open Source Software?
It will be considered a GPL violation. As GPL says, if you use GPLed 
software, or make modifications to it and re-distribute it, you should 
make the source, with the modifications, available for free. That 
doesn't mean you have to copy it onto a CD and pass it on to whoever 
requests, but at least it should be available for download (if you're 
not doing the latter, the former might apply). You really need to read 
up a lot on licensing on the net.

>
> And how many of us will use Linux/OSS if they are charged minimal ? 
> and will
> this be OFF TOPIC here?
Personally, if it's really worth my while, I would pay for the software, 
whether it's free/open/closed. But at least I would expect to pull out 
*my* data without hassle. That's why Mark Pilgrim 'switched' from Mac to 
Ubuntu recently:

http://diveintomark.org/archives/2006/06/02/when-the-bough-breaks

In other words, it's a personal decision, for some people it's 
philosophical. I found out that I no longer care about the philosophical 
stuff the moment I laid my eyes on a MacBook Pro. The damn thing is too 
sexy, and I would give an arm and a leg to get it. You might not, of course.

>
> Till today, many see Linux as Free as in "Free beer" :)
>

That would immediately change if they found out what they have to pay 
for a *good* Linux Sysadmin ;-). There shouldn't be any complaints 
there, as at the end of the day, even if you pay through your nose for a 
Linux sysadmin, you'll save more money on operations and license fees.


Vamsee.


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