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  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE - Why we speak about Free Software</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>We speak about Free Software</h1>
  8. <p>Free Software is often referred to as "Open Source." This is a
  9. result of an attempt by the <a href="">Open
  10. Source Initiative</a> (OSI) to create a marketing campaign for Free
  11. Software.</p>
  12. <p>The OSI set out to maintain the integrity of the movement and
  13. prevent abuse by proprietary vendors by introducing "Open Source" as a
  14. trademark for Free Software; but this initiative failed.</p>
  15. <p>Examining the development of the Open Source Initiative after three
  16. years, it becomes apparent that the reasons to prefer the term Free
  17. Software have become even more true. Speaking of Free Software or the
  18. equivalent term in other languages offers many advantages, which we
  19. explain below.</p>
  20. <h3>"Free Software" is easier to understand</h3>
  21. <p>Although some people say that using the term "free" creates
  22. ambiguity, many languages have separate terms referring to freedom and
  23. price. In these languages, the term "free" is not ambiguous. It may be
  24. in others, including English, but in those misunderstandings can
  25. easily be avoided by pointing out that free refers to freedom, not
  26. price.</p>
  27. <p>The terminology "Open Source" refers to having access to the source
  28. code. But access to the source code is only a precondition for two of
  29. the four freedoms that define Free Software. Many people do not
  30. understand that access to the source code alone is not enough. "Free
  31. Software" avoids catering to this relatively common misunderstanding.</p>
  32. <h3>Free Software is harder to abuse</h3>
  33. <p>Unfortunately many companies have started calling their products
  34. "Open Source" if at least some parts of the source code can be
  35. seen. Users buy this software believing they are purchasing something
  36. "as good as GNU/Linux" because it claims to follow the same
  37. principle.</p>
  38. <p>We should not allow proprietary vendors to abuse people's enthusiasm
  39. like this. Since the "Open Source" trademarking initiative failed,
  40. there is no way to prevent abuse of the term that becomes possible
  41. because of the aforementioned misunderstanding.</p>
  42. <h3>Free Software is well-defined</h3>
  43. <p>Experience in science and philosophy has shown that a good and
  44. clear definition is to be preferred.</p>
  45. <p>The Free Software Definition of the Free Software Foundation with
  46. its four freedoms is the clearest definition existing today.</p>
  47. <h3>Free Software provides additional value</h3>
  48. <p>Unlike Open Source, Free Software provides more than just a
  49. technical model how to develop better software, it provides a
  50. philosophy. Companies can learn and profit from the philosophy and
  51. background of Free Software.</p>
  52. <h3>Free Software offers freedom</h3>
  53. <p>Free Software provides the freedoms to </p>
  54. <ul>
  55. <li>run the program, for any purpose.</li>
  56. <li>study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.</li>
  57. <li>redistribute copies.</li>
  58. <li>improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.</li>
  59. </ul>
  60. <p>Because of these four freedoms, Free Software offers freedom to
  61. learn, freedom to teach, freedom of competition, freedom of speech and
  62. freedom of choice.</p>
  63. <p>Freedom counts!</p>
  64. <p>For all these reasons we made the conscious decision to avoid the term
  65. Open Source and speak of Free Software or the equivalent term in other
  66. languages.</p>
  67. <p>We encourage you to make the same decision.</p>
  68. <p>An initiative of the<br />
  69. Free Software Foundation Europe</p>
  70. <p>If you also speak about Free Software and would like to know how to
  71. participate in the campaign or how to support it, you will find
  72. information <a href="whyfs-howto.en.html">here</a>.</p>
  73. <hr />
  74. <h2>We speak about Free Software</h2>
  75. <speakers/>
  76. <br />
  77. <p>This campaign was started for Free Software companies, but in this
  78. special case we decided to make an exception to the rule:</p><p class="indent">
  79. <a href="">Bruce Perens</a>, co-founder of the Open
  80. Source movement and author of the &quot;Debian Free Software
  81. Guidelines&quot; and the &quot;Open Source Definition&quot; asked us
  82. to add his name to the list and make it known that he also speaks
  83. about Free Software and supports the &quot;We speak about Free
  84. Software&quot; campaign.</p>
  85. </body>
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