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Re: [gNewSense-users] Suspected Non-free

From: Kevin Dean
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Suspected Non-free
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 04:24:09 +0000

> mpg321 is certainly free as it is under the GPL.

This really depends on your definition of 'Free'.

My definition, and the Free Software Foundation's is based on the four freedoms:

   *  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).

   * 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). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

In the USA, where software patents are legal, there is a VERY real
threat to freedom 0. It can be unlawful to use the MP3 format without
a license that is NOT given freely.

I, personally, feel that something is non-Free as long as it is not
free for EVERYONE.

Licenses are just the tip of the iceburg...

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