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hpr0995 :: Do the four freedoms extend beyond software ?

The Free Software Definition has a wider scope than just software

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Hosted by Ken Fallon on 2012-05-24 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
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Duration: 00:14:53


On Linux For The Rest Of Us #74 - The Legistrative Session, one of our correspondents Mr. Gadgets, called in the following question. The segment begins at at 01:00:30 and in it he describes a conversation about the four freedoms where someone whose opinion he respected stated "the four freedoms only cover programming. It is only the code that is covered in the four freedoms".

For those of you who don't know The Free Software Definition boils down to the following rules:

  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

If you read the The Free Software Definition, then yes all the references are to "software" only....
...that is of course until you get to the section Beyond Software, in the same document, which states:

Software manuals must be free, for the same reasons that software must be free, and because the manuals are in effect part of the software.
The same arguments also make sense for other kinds of works of practical use - that is to say, works that embody useful knowledge, such as educational works and reference works. Wikipedia is the best-known example.
Any kind of work can be free, and the definition of free software has been extended to a definition of free cultural works applicable to any kind of works.

So in summary, as HPR is now released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported lisence, any shows that provide useful knowledge, such as educational works and reference works are covered by the four freedoms.


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