[openip] Re: GNU License for Hardware

Reto Stamm Reto.Stamm at xilinx.com
Mon Oct 11 22:39:21 UTC 1999

Derek J. Balling wrote:

> I have to disagree. I agree with many of Richard's concepts, (although I
> still don't call it GNU/Linux *G*) but for hardware I have to seriously
> disagree.
> "Free", in today's society, when attached to hardware, will have lots of
> confusion when it comes to things like FreePC, and the myriad of other
> "Free [as in beer] PC" deals. These deals have a distinct possibility of
> turning bad (there have already been several less-than-complimentary
> articles on this topic). Confusion is bad, especially when your excellent
> idea can be confused with a marketing ploy which goes horribly sour.

I agree that free hardware in English is a term that will certainly confuse
people. However, I think we should learn from the past. Free Software is
still confused with all kinds of things it is not, especially in the english
speaking regions of the world. Other people seem to think of freedom first,
probably because that's the meaning that occurs most frequently in US
Exported Music.

I am sure there is a term that matches exactly what we want to express in
some language, and the people who speak english have never been very hesitant
to adopt these words when they fill a particular gap. So if there is some
word in Latin, Sanskrit, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese or wherever, we should see
if we can use that to express what we really mean. I am sure that it will be
mispronounced, but it shows what this is about.

If people don't understand, they will ask. If they think they do but don't,
they will not ask.

Any suggestions for names?

Reto Stamm (speaking for myself)

> My $0.02 worth.
> d
> At 03:00 PM 10/11/99 -0600, Richard Stallman wrote:
> >If you are inspired by the GNU Project and the Free Software movement,
> >I hope you will choose a name that refers to freedom.  The word "open"
> >calls to mind the Open Source movement, which differs from the Free
> >Software movement in rejecting all talk of freedom, principle and
> >other non-material benefits.
> >
> >See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html.
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Reto Stamm
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