8" floppy project

From: Patrick Finnegan <pat_at_computer-refuge.org>
Date: Tue Aug 10 13:27:42 2004

On Tuesday 10 August 2004 13:12, Joe R. wrote:
> At 12:00 PM 8/10/04 -0400, you wrote:
> >>>> Name another computer with as many choices of OS and as many
> >>>> versions, including third party and public domain OSs.
> >>>
> >>> Public domain? While admittedly I haven't specifically looked, I
> >>> don't think I've ever seen a public domain OS for anything,
> >>
> >> What about FreeDOS? Or they just call it that for kicks?
> >
> >I imagine they call it that because it's free, for some value of
> > free. While I was unable to find an explicit license in a brief
> > poke around the freedos pages, I pulled over their boot floppy
> > image, and it's certainly got enough copyright notices embedded in
> > it. (This is rather disturbing, since if it's copyrighted but with
> > no license grant, it is probably illegal to do anything with it in
> > most jurisdictions.)
> That's not my understanding. I've seen several pieces of software
> where the author specificly stated the software was free but he also
> stated that he had copyrighted it in order to keep people from making
> modifications and then selling it as their own work. Wheather or not
> it's copyrighted ultimatly has nothing to do with it's cost. It can
> be "freeware", "shareware" or regular commercail software no matter
> what the copyright status is.

That statement is called a "license grant". You seem to be ignoring the
meaning of "free" that der Mouse is referring to -- free as in freedom
("libre"), not free as in 0-cost. "Free software" is not freeware,
shareware, or proprietary ("commercial") software. Public domain is
essentially "free software," as you can do whatever you want with it.

> >Note that "public domain" is a specific legal term with a specific
> >meaning, and does not equal "free" for any of the common meanings of
> >"free" as applied to software.
> I don't agree with the last part of your statement. To most people
> Public Domain equates to free. "Public domain" means the "public"
> owns it legally but it's still free in that anyone can use it for
> free.

Again, "free" as applied to software a la "Free Software Foundation"
normally means "libre" not 0-cost. If you're equating "public domain"
to "free," you haven't been paying attention to the movement started by
things like GNU, Linux, and *BSD.

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The Computer Refuge               ---  http://computer-refuge.org
Received on Tue Aug 10 2004 - 13:27:42 BST

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