"rights" and "freedoms"

L. Peter Deutsch ghost at aladdin.com
Wed Oct 13 22:26:11 UTC 1999

> It is a simple fact that the Open Source movement rejects the idea of
> talking about users's freedom as an issue in its own right.  If you ask
> them, they will say so themselves.

The OSD rationale uses the word "right" a lot, but it does not use the word
"freedom".  Some of this is a hair-split, since the OSD rationale calls many
of the same things "rights" that the FSF philosophy calls "freedoms".
However, I agree they are not the same.

I often use the word "rights" when I talk about Open Source.  Some of the
time I mean the same things as FSF means by "freedoms", and some of the time
I mean things that FSF considers anathema, such as a right to be reasonably
compensated for one's work.  I prefer to use the word "rights" because while
all freedoms may be considered rights, not all rights are freedoms in the
sense that FSF uses the word (which I believe is always in the sense of
freedom to do something), and I believe it is important to bring those other
rights into the discussion and to talk about licenses as balancing a variety
of rights.


L. Peter Deutsch         |       Aladdin Enterprises :::: ghost at aladdin.com
203 Santa Margarita Ave. | tel. +1-650-322-0103 (AM only); fax +1-650-322-1734
Menlo Park, CA 94025     |        http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/index.html

More information about the License-discuss mailing list