“Free” as in “Free Beer”

Once upon a time, in a galaxy not so far away…

Free used to me free.

Now we seem to have to delineate when free doesn’t mean free from when free actually means free (as in free beer).

Open Source software used to be free (as in free beer), now it seems that Open Source software might be free, but not free (as in free beer)… which means you might actually need to pay to use it…

WTF?

Yes, just like corporate America has had a “get out of jail free card” for many years to deceive and delude the public with their many “free” offers, the Open Source world now seems to be moving in the same direction.

In my mind, free means free (as in free beer) without any qualifications — not free subject to terms and conditions contained in a 5000 word agreement loaded with double-speak and vagaries.

It’s so sad.

And it should be so illegal to use the word “free” in such a way as to perpetrate a public fraud.

Originally posted 2010-05-04 02:00:39.