Liber et Publicus
|This page is part of a series on Core Values.
The two concepts 'open' and 'free' are fairly well defined within computer science. 'Open' has been used by the Open Source community, while Free Software has appropriated 'free.' Our interests are aligned with both, but we don't fit into either group very well.
The Problem with Free Software
Free Software has a great mission: to protect the rights of users. This is a great aim, and an important one. Users should be respected, as they are the ultimate benefactors of our work. Without users, our software wouldn't be useful.
However, the proponents of Free Software have turned it into a religion. We're not big fans of political fanaticism. Balance is important.
The Problem with Open Source
We actually have more in common with Open Source software. However, while the Open Source Definition is fairly apolitical, there is still a strong undercurrent of "Share and share alike." This is known as 'copyleft.' Most Open Source projects expect that code contributed to such a project will remain open, and never be used for a closed purpose. This is not for us.
We have our own definitions of 'free' and 'open.' We agree with BSD. We think that distributing source code is a good thing, for all of the reasons the FSF mentions. However, if someone else wants to do something with our code, we should place no designs on such plans. What works well for us may not work well for others. It's not our place to tell you what to do with our code.