How Free Became Open and Everything Else Under the Sun

Year
2004
Volume
7
Issue
3
Abstract

While Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman argues that Free Software is not Open Source, he is only half right—or only speaking about the question of motivation (the half that matters to him). The definition of Open Source, as enshrined in the Open Source Definition (OSD) is a nearly verbatim copy of the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). Both the OSD and DFSG are practical articulations of Stallman’s Free Software Definition (FSD). Open Source, with a different political and philosophical basis, can only exist because the FSD is broad enough to allow for its translation into other terms yet defined enough to allow for a directed and robust social movement. As much as Stallman might want to deemphasize Open Source, he would never change the broadly defined definition of freedom that made its existence possible.

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