Like a Free Drink or Like a Free Speech?
What do these phrases really mean?

What do these phrases actually mean?

You’ll often hear “free speech” or “free drink” about software products in the open-source community, but what do these phrases actually mean?

"Free Drink"

This phrase would apply to software products that are freely available for anyone to use and enjoy, but the user cannot look at the source code and make modifications if they desire. Finally, the producer controls which brand of drink you get and when you get it.

"Free Speech"

This phrase is a matter of freedom and not just the ability to get the software for free. This liberty (libre) gives you the rights that a free drink does not; the freedom to run it, study and change it, and redistribute copies with or without changes.

"The Meaning"

This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of “free speech,” not “free drink.”

As a result of this freedom, the open-source model often builds higher quality, more secure, and more easily integrated software. And it does it at a vastly accelerated pace and often at a lower cost.

 Openinside W.L.L.

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