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How Free Software and Open Source Relate as Categories of Programs

Here's how free software and open source relate as categories of programs:

      / |                                            | \
     /  |                                            |  \
    /   |                                            |   \
        |                                            |
        |       Source license is GNU *GPL, Apache,  |
        |        original BSD, modified BSD,         |
free    |        X11, expat, Python, MPL, etc.,      |
        |        and executable is not tivoized      |   open source
        |                                            | 
        |                                            |
    \   |                                            |
     \  |                                            |
      \ |                                            |   /
       \----------------------------------------------  /
        |     tivoized (tyrant) devices          | O | /

Among all programs that are open source, only a minuscule fraction are not free. If the bottom row were drawn to scale, its text would have to be in a tiny font, perhaps too small to read.

Tivoized or “tyrant” devices contain nonfree executables made from source code that is free. As of 2013, many Android devices are tyrants, but some are not.

“O” stands for “other” and refers to programs whose source is under licenses which are open source but not free. Several such licenses were written around 2000, and they were used to release some programs. It has been a long time since we heard of software released under those licenses. We don't know whether they are still used.

Most nonfree licenses are not open source either.


 [FSF logo] “The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. We defend the rights of all software users.”


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