Gratis versus libre

The English adjective free is commonly used in one of two meanings: "for free" (gratis) and "with little or no restriction" (libre). This ambiguity of free can cause issues where the distinction is important, as it often is in dealing with laws concerning the use of information, such as copyright and patents.

The terms gratis and libre may be used to categorise intellectual property, particularly computer programs, according to the licenses and legal restrictions that cover them, in the free software and open source communities, as well as the broader free culture movement. For example, they are used to distinguish freeware (software gratis) from free software (software libre).

Richard Stallman summarised the difference in a slogan: "Think free as in free speech, not free beer."[1]

Isummit 2008, Japan, free beer crop
Free Beer sale on the Isummit 2008 illustrates "Free as in freedom, not free as in free beer": recipe and label shared openly under CC-BY-SA ("Free as in freedom") but not gratis ("free as in free beer") as the beer is sold for 500 Yen.
Galuel RMS - free as free speech, not as free beer
Richard Stallman (right) illustrating his famous sentence "Think free as in free speech, not free beer" with a beer glass. Brussels, RMLL, 9 July 2013
Piwo gratis
An advertising mascot dressed as a mug of beer, holding a sign saying "Piwo gratis" (Polish for "free beer") in the centre of Kraków, Poland, advertising beer being given away without charge.

Gratis

Gratis in English is adopted from the various Romance and Germanic languages, ultimately descending from the plural ablative and dative form of the first-declension noun grātia in Latin. It means "free" in the sense that some good or service is supplied without need for payment, even though it may have value.

Libre

Libre /ˈliːbrə/ in English is adopted from the various Romance languages, ultimately descending from the Latin word līber; its origin is closely related to liberty. It denotes "the state of being free", as in "liberty" or "having freedom". The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) considers libre to be obsolete,[2] but the word has come back into limited[a] use. Unlike gratis, libre appears in few English dictionaries,[a] although there is no other English single-word adjective signifying "liberty" exclusively, without also meaning "at no monetary cost".

"Free beer" vs "freedom of speech" distinction

In software development, where the cost of mass production is relatively small, it is common for developers to make software available at no cost. One of the early and basic forms of this model is called freeware. With freeware, software is licensed freely for regular use: the developer does not gain any monetary compensation.

With the advent of the free software movement, license schemes were created to give developers more freedom in terms of code sharing, commonly called open source or free and open-source software (called FLOSS, FOSS, or F/OSS). As the English adjective free does not distinguish between "for free" and "liberty", the phrases "free as in freedom of speech" (libre, free software) and "free as in free beer" (gratis, freeware) were adopted. Many in the free software movement feel strongly about the freedom to use the software, make modifications, etc., whether or not this freely usable software is to be exchanged for money. Therefore, this distinction became important.

"Free software" means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, "free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer". We sometimes call it "libre software," borrowing the French or Spanish word for "free" as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is gratis.

These phrases have become common, along with gratis and libre, in the software development and computer law fields for encapsulating this distinction.[b] The distinction is similar to the distinction made in political science between positive liberty and negative liberty. Like "free beer", positive liberty promises equal access by all without cost or regard to income, of a given good (assuming the good exists). Like "free speech", negative liberty safeguards the right to use of something (in this case, speech) without regard to whether in each case there is a cost involved for this use (you still have free speech even though it costs money to acquire a newspaper).[c]

Use in open-access academic publishing

In order to reflect real-world differences in the degree of open access, the distinction between gratis open access and libre open access was added in 2006 by two of the co-drafters of the original Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access publishing.[4] Gratis open access refers to online access free of charge (which Wikipedia indicates with the icon Free to read), and libre open access refers to online access free of charge plus some additional re-use rights (Wikipedia icon open access).[4] Libre open access is equivalent to the definition of open access in the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The re-use rights of libre OA are often specified by various specific Creative Commons licenses;[5] these almost all require attribution of authorship to the original authors.[4][6]

Comparison with use in software

The original gratis/libre distinction concerns software (i.e., code), with which users can potentially do two kinds of things: 1. access and use it; and 2. modify and re-use it. "Gratis" pertains to being able to access and use the code, without a price-barrier, while "libre" pertains to being allowed to modify and re-use the code, without a permission barrier. The target content of the open access movement, however, is not software but published, peer-reviewed research journal article texts.

1. Source code accessibility and use. For published research articles, the case for making their text accessible free for all online (Gratis) is even stronger than it is for software code, because in the case of software, some developers may wish to give their code away for free, while others may wish to sell it, whereas in the case of published research article texts, all their authors, without exception, give them away for free: None seek or get royalties or fees from their sale.[7] On the contrary, any access-denial to potential users means loss of potential research impact (downloads, citations) for the author's research—and researcher-authors' employment, salary, promotion and funding depends in part on the uptake and impact of their research.

2. Source code modifiability and re-use. For published research articles, the case for allowing text modification and re-use is much weaker than for software code, because, unlike software, the text of a research article is not intended for modification and re-use. (In contrast, the content of research articles is and always was intended for modification and re-use: that is how research progresses.) There are no copyright barriers to modifying, developing, building upon and re-using an author's ideas and findings, once they have been published, as long as the author and published source are credited—but modifications to the published text are another matter. Apart from verbatim quotation, scholarly/scientific authors are not in general interested in allowing other authors to create "mashups" of their texts. Researcher-authors are all happy to make their texts available for harvesting and indexing for search as well as data-mining, but not for re-use in altered form (without the permission of the author).

The formal analogy between open software and open access has been made,[8], along with the generalization of the gratis/libre distinction from the one field to the other.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b The Onelook dictionary website finds about 5 monoglot English dictionaries including "libre"; about 30 include "gratis"
  2. ^ For example, the free software definition clarifies the distinction in this way.
  3. ^ A quote from the Gnu free software definition was used in a section on positive and negative liberty by Guinevere Nell in Rediscovering Fire: Basic Economic Lessons From the Soviet Experiment, Algora, 2010.

References

  1. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (September 2006). "Free, as in beer". Wired. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  2. ^ OED.com, OED definition of libre: "Obs. Of the will: Free". Access to the OED is libre, but not gratis.
  3. ^ "What is free software?". GNU Operating System. Free Software Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Suber, Peter. 2008."Gratis and Libre Open Access". Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  5. ^ Suber 2012, pp. 68–69
  6. ^ Suber, Peter (2012). Open access. MIT Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9780262517638.
  7. ^ Harnad, Stevan (2003) For Whom the Gate Tolls Journal of Postgraduate Medicine 49: 337-342
  8. ^ Suber, Peter (2008) Gratis and libre open access SPARC Open Access Newsletter, August 2, 2008

Sources

Commercial software

Commercial software, or seldom payware, is computer software that is produced for sale or that serves commercial purposes. Commercial software can be proprietary software or free and open-source software.

Comparison of free geophysics software

This is a list of free and open-source software for geophysical data processing and interpretation. The list is split into broad categories, depending on the intended use of the software and its scope of functions.

Notice that 'free and open-source' requires that the source code is available. Simple being 'free of charge' is not sufficient—see gratis versus libre. The reader interested in freeware (just free of charge) software is referred to the list of freeware geophysics software.

FLISOL

FLISoL, an acronym for Festival Latinoamericano de Instalación de Software Libre (Latin American free software install fest), is the biggest event for spreading Software Libre since 2005, performed simultaneously in different countries of Latin America. In 2012, more than 290 cities from 20 countries of Latin America participated on a FLISoL.

This festival is an opportunity for all those people interested on know more about Software Libre. Getting involved makes it possible to get in touch with the world of Software Libre, meet other users, resolve doubts and questions, exchange opinions and experiences, attend to informative talks and others activities.

Free

Free may refer to:

Liberty, also known as freedom

Gratis versus libre, distinguishing "free of charge" from freedom

Free software

Free software or libre software is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty, not price: users—individually or in cooperation with computer programmers—are free to do what they want with their copies of a free software (including profiting from them) regardless of how much is paid to obtain the program. Computer programs are deemed free insofar as they give users (not just the developer) ultimate control over the first, thereby allowing them to control what their devices are programmed to do.The right to study and modify a computer program entails that source code—the preferred format for making changes—be made available to users of that program. While this is often called 'access to source code' or 'public availability', the Free Software Foundation recommends against thinking in those terms, because it might give the impression that users have an obligation (as opposed to a right) to give non-users a copy of the program.

Although the term free software had already been used loosely in the past, Richard Stallman is credited with tying it to the sense under discussion and starting the free-software movement in 1983, when he launched the GNU Project: a collaborative effort to create a freedom-respecting operating system, and to revive the spirit of cooperation once prevalent among hackers during the early days of computing.

Freedom isn't free

"Freedom isn't free", "freedom is not free", "freedom's not free", or "freedom ain't free" is an American idiom, used widely in the United States to express gratitude to the military for defending personal freedoms. The idiom may be used as a rhetorical device.

Gratis

Gratis may refer to:

Gratis, Ohio, a village in Preble County, US

Gratis Township, Preble County, Ohio, US

Gratis Internet, a US referral marketing company

Gratis versus libre, computer software available at no cost

Information wants to be free

"Information wants to be free" is an expression that means all people should be able to access information freely. It is often used by technology activists to criticize laws that limit transparency and general access to information. People who criticize intellectual property law say the system of such government granted monopolies conflicts with the development of a public domain of information. The expression is often credited to Stewart Brand, who was recorded saying it at a hackers conference in 1984.

Inquirer Libre

Inquirer Libre (Inquirer Gratis) is a free, bilingual (Filipino and English) tabloid published in the Philippines. It is published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and is considered a trimmed-down version of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that is distributed on public transport. Established on November 19, 2001, it is the Philippines' first and Asia's second-oldest free newspaper.The newspaper is available in all stations of the LRT, MRT, and PNR, the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal at the Port of Manila's South Harbor, as well as selected branches of McDonald's. In 2011, a digital print edition was made available for subscribers of the Inquirer digital print subscription service.Unlike other Philippine tabloids, Inquirer Libre seeks to provide commuters access to decent, useful and meaningful news and current events. The income generated from distributing Inquirer Libre comes from advertising.

On October 9, 2017, Inquirer Libre relaunched as a weekly commuter paper. It will be distributed every Monday. The new schedule also enabled it to follow the look and layout of its sister paper, the Inquirer.

Liber (disambiguation)

Liber may refer to:

Meaning 'book', can also mean the adjective 'free'.

Liber, the god of Roman mythology associated with the Greek god Dionysus

Freedom (disambiguation) in Latin and Romanian (libero in Italian); see also Gratis versus Libre

The Latin root for many English words referring to freedom (see above), such as libertarianism, liberalism, liberty, Liberia ("free land"), and liberation

Phloem, in botany, for which "liber" is another name

In real estate, the book in which a subdivision plat is recorded

Liber, Indiana, a small town in the United States

Liber (rapper), a Polish music producer and rapper

LIBER, Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche / Association of European Research Libraries

List of free geology software

This is a list of free and open-source software for geological data handling and interpretation. The list is split into broad categories, depending on the intended use of the software and its scope of functionality.

Notice that 'free and open-source' requires that the source code is available. Simple being 'free of charge' is not sufficient—see gratis versus libre.

On the House

On the House may refer to:

On the House (album), by hip hop super group Slaughterhouse

On the House (TV series), a British television comedy

On the House (horse)

Open admissions

Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Open collaboration

Open collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." It is prominently observed in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists and online communities. Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists, Internet communities, and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)."

Open source

Open source is a term denoting that a product includes permission to use its source code, design documents, or content. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement. Use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the software sector to cover other open content and forms of open collaboration.

Open university

An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.

Outline of free software

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to free software and the free software movement:

Free software – software which can be run, studied, examined, modified, and redistributed freely (without any cost). This type of software, which was given its name in 1983, has also come to be known as "open-source software", "software libre", "FOSS", and "FLOSS". The term "Free" refers to it being unfettered, rather than being free of charge.

P2P Foundation

P2P Foundation: The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives is an organization with the aim of studying the impact of peer to peer technology and thought on society. It was founded by Michel Bauwens, James Burke and Brice Le Blévennec.The P2P Foundation is a registered institute founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its local registered name is: Stichting Peer to Peer Alternatives, dossier nr: 34264847.

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