Subject: Re: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2001 00:47:14 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Kaz Kylheku)
| The most common definition used in the consumer marketplace is that free
| means you don't have to pay.  Since you can obtain GNU-type software that
| way, this interpretation holds true.

  No, it does not.  If I get some gizmo for free, it is mine to use, abuse,
  destroy, take apart and use the parts for something else, etc.  If I get
  some GNU GPL'ed source code for "free", if I take it apart and use the
  parts for something else, I suddenly owe somebody else something.  This
  is _not_ what "free" means.  If I modify the free gizmo and find a way to
  make some better gizmo, I owe nobody anything.  If I do the same with a
  GNU GPL'ed program, I must give the new, better idea back to whoever gave
  it to me for "free".  I think there is an old idiom, "Indian giver" or
  something, which applies to people who do not _really_ give things away.

| For instance, a GNU program is *at least* as free as Internet Explorer,
| which Microsoft claims is free for download.

  Well, yes, as long as you do not use the source code, which is supposedly
  the whole point with the GNU GPL.

  Norway is now run by a priest from the fundamentalist Christian People's
  Party, the fifth largest party representing one eighth of the electorate.
  Carrying a Swiss Army pocket knife in Oslo, Norway, is a criminal offense.