New looker where to start?

John Locke mail at
Fri Aug 3 18:53:37 CEST 2007

Not to belabor the point, but I disagree:

wim delvaux wrote:
> well for me 'open source' does not mean GPL.  'Open source' for me means the 
> source is available to you and you can modify it but it does not give you the 
> right to do what you want with it.
> GPL that is another story.  It allows you to explicitely do what you want with 
> it (to some extent)
"Open Source" is a term that's been hijacked by many commercial entities
that do not adhere to the definition. For the Open Source Definition,
see here:

... this is from the Open Source Initiative, which was started by Eric
Raymond (who coined the phrase "open source") and a bunch of others who
thought that the main point of having free software was that it resulted
in better software, as opposed to the FSF's main aim to spread freedom.

The first criteria in the open source definition is "Free
Redistribution." If software isn't freely redistributable, it's not open
source. Lots of companies are hijacking the term to mean what Wim is
saying, but doing so makes it harder to tell what is really open source.

While there are many open source licenses that are not the GPL, all of
them allow free redistribution. For a list of OSI-approved open source
licenses, see here: .
The main thing that sets the GPL apart from other open source licenses
is that it prevents people from closing the code, makes it so if you
create derivative software of GPL'd code, you can't restrict the people
you give/sell/provide the code to from redistributing it under the GPL,
and you must provide them with source code. Other open source licenses
like the Apache or BSD licenses can be used in commercial, closed
software without any need to provide source code or rights to further


John Locke
"Open Source Solutions for Small Business Problems"
published by Charles River Media, June 2004

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