OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD: Free As In Air

Contributed by deanna on from the undefinitions dept.

Jeremy of kerneltrap has written a nice summary of a recent discussion on misc@ about the alleged freeing of source code for 4front Technologies' Open Sound System. Though many of us have already seen the thread, expect the discussion over there to get interesting.

(Comments are closed)


  1. By Jove (216.17.145.62) on

    'Free As In Air' should definitely get on a t-shirt or something.

    1. By Anonymous Coward (85.176.43.149) on

      > 'Free As In Air' should definitely get on a t-shirt or something.

      For how long do you think breathable air will stay free? In a more dystopian (but not all too unrealistic, given current worldwide pollution development) mood i can perfectly imagine the need to BUY canned/filtered air, or suffering from a "Blueface" because of the lack of clean air.

      1. By Anonymous Coward (122.49.159.108) on

        Spaceballs anyone?

        1. By Justin (216.17.75.74) on

          > Spaceballs anyone?

          That was my first thought too. Mmmmm Perri Air.

          To be on subject: "free as in air" is nice, but I can imagine this phrase taking off and everyone jumping on the "free as in air" bandwagon and since it is not internationally copyrighted anyone can claim their software is also "free as in air".
          I doubt this phrase will turn into anything beyond a catchy little phrase few would have an actual right to use. But you never know, there have been some crazy battles before (vimacs, kgnome, etc). Of course besides wasting time they have not really accomplished much for the user population at large in my estimation.

          1. By Anonymous Coward (67.64.89.177) on

            > To be on subject: "free as in air" is nice, but I can imagine this phrase taking off and everyone jumping on the "free as in air" bandwagon and since it is not internationally copyrighted anyone can claim their software is also "free as in air".

            Right, because "free as in beer" (whatever the fuck it means) really expresses a license's implications.

            1. By Anonymous Coward (74.115.21.120) on

              > Right, because "free as in beer" (whatever the fuck it means) really expresses a license's implications.

              No it doesn't, that's the whole point. It means its free as in "does not cost money". It says nothing about the license at all. The whole point of the statement is to make the distinction between software that costs no money, but isn't "free software", and software that is "free" for someone's particular definition of free.

              1. By Anonymous Coward (67.64.89.177) on

                In my world beer costs money; in fact a lot of money. Where does one go to not have to pay for beer?

                1. By Anonymous Coward (75.183.7.0) on

                  > In my world beer costs money; in fact a lot of money. Where does one go to not have to pay for beer?
                  >
                  >

                  It comes from the expression "Free beer", as in something you might get at a bar if you know the bartender, or he/she likes the way you look. Its nothing really fancy, but it basically conveys that you can use/consume a product for free, it doesn't have to beer, but apparently from what I've seen of blogs, F/OSS developers like beer.

                  1. By Anonymous Coward (67.64.89.177) on

                    There is no such thing as free. There is always been someone that did something. The fact that you get to use it for free doesn't diminish someone's effort.

                    It's ok to admit that free as in beer is retarded. Go on do it, you'll feel better.

                  2. By Anonymous Coward (24.37.242.64) on

                    > > In my world beer costs money; in fact a lot of money. Where does one go to not have to pay for beer?
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    > It comes from the expression "Free beer", as in something you might get at a bar if you know the bartender, or he/she likes the way you look. Its nothing really fancy, but it basically conveys that you can use/consume a product for free, it doesn't have to beer, but apparently from what I've seen of blogs, F/OSS developers like beer.

                    Who pays for that 'free' beer then? The Bar? Well, it's still not free. Same thing with someone buying MS Windows XP, giving it free to a friend. That doesn't make it free software...

                    1. By Brynet (Brynet) on

                      > Who pays for that 'free' beer then? The Bar? Well, it's still not free. > Same thing with someone buying MS Windows XP, giving it free to a friend. That doesn't make it free software...

                      Well it makes sense that one someone says "Free as in Beer" they mean, They are giving it to you.. But if you ever meet them one day, Buy them a beer! :P

                      Or it could be a metaphor, They are giving it to you for free.. Like when you go out drinking, A buddy might buy his friends a round of beers.

                    2. By Anonymous Coward (151.188.247.104) on

                      > Who pays for that 'free' beer then? The Bar? Well, it's still not free. Same thing with someone buying MS Windows XP, giving it free to a friend. That doesn't make it free software...
                      >

                      You're quite correct. Free Software has never been about "free as in price." It's always been about "free as in freedom," i. e. liberty.

                      http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

                      Microsoft, by contrast, will actually *give* their crack-addict software to schools and governments to either addict them or to keep them addicted if they're looking at F/OSS. They do it at schools to addict teachers, who will then addict the kids. I've actually had kids look at my various KDE desktops (yes, on both OpenBSD and GNU/Linux) and say, "where's Internet Explorer?"

                      Remember, the first hit is free...and *maybe* the second...

                      http://news.com.com/2100-1023-212942.html

                      ...but, as with drugs, non-free software has its price later on, and the withdrawal symptoms tend to be very painful (read: expensive).

                      1. By Anonymous Coward (143.166.226.40) on

                        You need to look up the dictionary definition of freedom and liberty. It sure as hell does not match your description.

                    3. By Anonymous Coward (74.115.21.120) on

                      > Same thing with someone buying MS Windows XP, giving it free to a friend. That doesn't make it free software...

                      Again, that is the whole point. Free as in beer means it doesn't cost money. It doesn't make it free software, that's why its a COMPARISON vs free as in speech. This is not hard to understand, are you people trying to be obtuse?

                    4. By Anonymous Coward (170.98.106.254) on

                      > Who pays for that 'free' beer then? The Bar? Well, it's still not free. Same thing with someone buying MS Windows XP, giving it free to a friend. That doesn't make it free software...

                      It doesn't make it Libre software, but in essence, that copy of Windows XP has become free as in beer. Yes, someone paid for it, but it wasn't the friend. And now the friend can use it for free, just as if he had gotten a 'free' beer. (But just like beer, he can't learn anything about what crap went into it)

                      1. By silvaril (202.20.0.135) on

                        > > Who pays for that 'free' beer then? The Bar? Well, it's still not free. Same thing with someone buying MS Windows XP, giving it free to a friend. That doesn't make it free software...
                        >
                        > It doesn't make it Libre software, but in essence, that copy of Windows XP has become free as in beer. Yes, someone paid for it, but it wasn't the friend. And now the friend can use it for free, just as if he had gotten a 'free' beer. (But just like beer, he can't learn anything about what crap went into it)


                        I always thought "Free as in Beer" meant that you could write your own Code, much as you can brew your own Beer.

                        Should you have no interest in brewing your own Beer, then you likely purchase it.

                        Should you have no interest in writing your own Code, then you can either purchase it or buy the fella as does write the Code some Beer...

  2. By Anonymous Coward (80.249.194.29) on

    Sad. The way I see it, it's all over.

    1. By Justin (216.17.75.74) on

      > Sad. The way I see it, it's all over.

      CDDL License as seen on http://www.sun.com/cddl/cddl.html
      # of words in license: around 15,000

      BSD License as seen on http://www.openbsd.org/policy.html
      # of words in license: around 1,500

      Truly OpenBSD is a breath of fresh air, which for now is still free.

      1. By Justin (216.17.75.74) on

        These numbers are CHARACTERS not WORDS of course.

        Words comparison is
        CDDL around 2,500
        BSD around 250

    2. By Anonymous Coward (151.188.247.104) on

      > Sad. The way I see it, it's all over.

      I don't see a problem with licensing something under the GPL, as it is certainly a Free Software license. Frankly, I don't really see the CDDL *by itself* as a problem, either, until you account for the reasons for, and context under, which Sun came up with it (to combat its chief competitor, GNU/Linux). The GPL, by contrast, was written specifically to preserve end users' freedom.

      How can that be a bad thing?

      1. By Anonymous Coward (74.115.21.120) on

        > The GPL, by contrast, was written specifically to preserve end users' freedom.

        No it wasn't. RMS just says that to trick people into supporting his crusade. The GPL is a weapon, it has nothing to do with preserving freedom.

      2. By Anonymous Coward (193.63.217.208) on

        > > Sad. The way I see it, it's all over.
        >
        > I don't see a problem with licensing something under the GPL, as it is
        > certainly a Free Software license. Frankly, I don't really see the CDDL
        > *by itself* as a problem, either, until you account for the reasons for,
        > and context under, which Sun came up with it (to combat its chief
        > competitor, GNU/Linux). The GPL, by contrast, was written specifically
        > to preserve end users' freedom.
        >
        > How can that be a bad thing?
        >

        The GPL comes at a high price, it is very restrictive as to what you can do with code covered by it. Specifically you cannot incorporate it into commercial products and sell them without contaminating your entire source code with GPL. Doesn't sound very free to me. The BSD license promotes re-use far more than GPL because BSD is unencumbered and non-viral.

        BSD vs GPL can be summarised as follows (using the GPL definition of 'free' :/ ):

        GPL wants all software to be 'free'. BSD wants all software to *better*.

  3. By Anonymous Coward (24.119.18.143) on

    Free as in "Free to Pursue Happiness"

    and we appreciate your help with the ongoing implementation...

  4. By Anonymous Coward (216.68.198.57) on

    Thank God!

    Looking through some vendors value added services, and complex licensing, chokes IT up.
    HP also make me cringe, free OSS IT is hard enough, explain those $ services to upper management during design and upgrades. No way. Also, look at IBM, AIX becomes the stable upgrade. Sun, well nevermind,
    Linux also seems to be good at selling commerical support these days, but its becoming another Micro$oft out there.

    OpenBSD, not just free, but peace of mind, priceless.

  5. By Anonymous Coward (68.104.220.48) on

    This whole thing, on the trail of the bcw debacle, the rash of embracing blobs in other *BSD projects, and general all-around tolerance of non-free software excuses, NDAs, and other foolery in the open source community -- I have to agree with The Joker. This town needs an enema.

    1. By Anonymous Coward (151.188.247.104) on

      > This whole thing, on the trail of the bcw debacle, the rash of embracing blobs in other *BSD projects, and general all-around tolerance of non-free software excuses, NDAs, and other foolery in the open source community -- I have to agree with The Joker. This town needs an enema.
      >

      Actually, he said that it needed a wedgie.* But I agree with you just the same. Excuses, NDAs, and other such foolery are just that--foolery--and they are to be avoided like the Plague.


      * Batman Beyond, "Return of the Joker"

  6. By scot bontrager (216.62.11.163) on

    Free as in water:

    It covers most of the plant.
    It falls from the sky, unpredictably.
    Not all of it is good for any given purpose.
    Use the wrong stuff and it can kill you.
    If you know what you are doing, it is life sustaining.
    You can bottle and sell it; if you can find enough suckers who believe that its worth paying for when others are getting it for free.
    Life is very hard when you can't get access to it.

    1. By Anonymous Coward (216.62.11.163) on

      It covers most of the planet.

  7. By Anonymous Coward (24.201.102.185) on

    The phrase should be Free as in BSD.

    1. By Anonymous Coward (207.59.237.99) on

      > The phrase should be Free as in BSD.

      Yes, but the operative portion of that statement is *should be*

      It seems to be meaning less and less these days...

      1. By Anonymous Coward (85.178.82.239) on

        > > The phrase should be Free as in BSD.
        >
        > Yes, but the operative portion of that statement is *should be*
        >
        > It seems to be meaning less and less these days...

        That`s just plain stupid...

        There can`t be ANY comparsion to freedom.

        "Free as in &FOOSHIT" is just retarded.
        Freedom can be either completly or none.
        But never "Free as in".....

        So OpenBSD is free. Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and many other OSs are NOT free. Not completly and freedom is just granted completly.

        Other OSs are propably OpenSource, for sure they are.
        But "freedom" is a uniq word so don`t make yourself looking like a Troll during the trial to make a comparsion or a difference between different kinds of "free".

        1. By Anonymous Coward (122.49.159.108) on

          > But "freedom" is a uniq word so don`t make yourself looking like a Troll during the trial to make a comparsion or a difference between different kinds of "free".

          Free as in the USA?

          1. By Anonymous Coward (66.93.151.56) on

            I'd like to preempt any more trolling the parent could cause, no matter what you believe in: keep your political potshots outta here.

          2. By Mark (koronis) on www.woan.vze.com

            > > But "freedom" is a uniq word so don`t make yourself looking like a Troll during the trial to make a comparsion or a difference between different kinds of "free".
            >
            > Free as in the USA?

            How free exactly is the USA?
            The answer of course is not very

        2. By Anonymous Coward (24.84.108.103) on

          > "Free as in &FOOSHIT" is just retarded.
          > Freedom can be either completly or none.
          > But never "Free as in".....

          Then shouldn't the gold standard be "Free as in released into the Public Domain with no strings attached"?

          1. By Anonymous Coward (74.115.21.120) on

            > > "Free as in &FOOSHIT" is just retarded.
            > > Freedom can be either completly or none.
            > > But never "Free as in".....
            >
            > Then shouldn't the gold standard be "Free as in released into the Public Domain with no strings attached"?
            >

            Why? BSD/MIT/ISC style licenses that only require the copyright notice be kept intact doesn't limit your freedom at all. You can do anything you want with ISC licensed code that you can with public domain code, except remove the original author's copyright so they get credit/blame.

  8. By peter (83.20.72.125) on

    Hey, this slogan closes OpenBSD the way to NASA specestations and to the Mars :)

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