Danish open-sourcers kill metaphor

There’s this comparative distinction that open-source proponents like to make, when describing free software:

“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.”

It means, basically, that when folks who care about such things speak of “free software,” they’re talking about what you can do with the software, not whether you have to pay for it.  And when folks who care about such things have to illustrate this distinction, very often they use the free speech/free beer metaphor.

It was probably inevitable, then, that someone would publish an open-source beer recipe and call it Free Beer, creating beer that’s free as in speech, not free as in beer.  Magnificent.

(via Boing Boing)


5 thoughts on “Danish open-sourcers kill metaphor

  1. Ananth

    Actually though, with Open Source code, Free Software inevitably means Free Beer. Once you give someone the Source Code, that person is free as in free speech to do whatever he/she wants with it, which includes giving it away for free. Unlike beer, once I have the source or recipe, I can make the software for free.

  2. Steve

    Yeah, where software’s concerned, free as in speech does pretty much necessarily equal free as in beer. I just like the joke involved in the Free Beer not being free as in beer, but free as in speech.

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