Re: Ingenta to offer OAI eprint service

From: Thomas Krichel <krichel_at_OPENLIB.ORG>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 09:27:26 -0500

  I think that much of this debate comes from a confusion about
  the meaning of the term "free". When we talk about Eprints software
  being free, the term "free" should take the meaning as implied
  by the GNU public license. In this particular meaning, one
  should think of it as "freedom", rather then "zero euro". More
  precisely, Richard Stallman, who is the main father figure
  of the free software movement, will tell you that free
  software is any software that has four freedoms attached.

  freedom 0: You have the freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

  freedom 1: You have the freedom to modify the program to suit your needs.

  freedom 2: You have the freedom to redistribute copies, either gratis
             or for a fee.

  freedom 3: You have the freedom to distribute modified versions of the
             program, so that the community can benefit from your

  Since Eprints is under the GNU public license, it is has a license
  attached to it that aims to protect these freedoms. Under the
  license, the producers of Eprints are free to charge per download,
  but they could not prevent another organization allowing zero-charge

  Free software is sometimes opposed to commercial software. That
  is a false opposition. Commercial software is written for a
  profit. Free software can also be written for a profit. For
  example mySQL a leading free relational database software. It
  is produced by a commercial company. I assume they make their money
  consulting others on how to costumize and use it, rather
  than on the software itself. I have no affiliation with the
  company so I am not entirely sure.

  I presume that Ingenta have similar things in mind. Plus,
  they will be running services to run archives on behalf of
  other organizations. The clients would choose to
  let Ingenta run Eprints for them, rather than doing it

  I have been a champion of free access since 1993, when I put
  the world's first free economics paper online, and I am the
  the founder of RePEc, a very large FOS initative for economics.
  I have had my fair share of arguments with Stevan in the past,
  but on this occasion :-), he is spot on right, there is nothing
  to worry about.


  Thomas Krichel
Received on Tue Jul 16 2002 - 15:27:26 BST

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