On Mon, Jun 16, 2003 at 04:35:09PM -0400, Valerie Andrewlevich wrote: > I'm a bit confused -- your website clearly states that freeBSD is a free > OS, yet each of the sites that offer the CD charge money for it. Am I > missing something here?
Yes. The CD Rom vendors are selling you CDs, not licenses to use FreeBSD. Part of the upfront cost of the CDs is donated back to the FreeBSD project to help support development work. Part is to cover the cost of production of the CDs and the other expenses incurred by the CD vendors. The rest is the CD vendor's profit margin. If you don't think that pricing structure is a good deal, then no-one is forcing you to buy If you want to install FreeBSD and you have a network connection, you can download .iso images (the same as on the Vendor CDs) or the install floppies and install the whole system over the network for no charge. If you can beg, borrow or steal a set of CDs (whether bought from one of the vendors, or home-burned) then you can use them to install FreeBSD on as many machines as you want, again without charge. It's also "Free" in the sense that you can do whatever you want with it, so long as you abide by the terms of the BSD license. That license says, in essence that you must preserve the license statement on the code that you use, and that you must acknowledge that you derived your work from the work of the copyright holder, and that the copyright holder isn't liable for any losses you may suffer through use of the software. Want to build a network appliance to run a proprietary firewall product and use FreeBSD as the operating system? Want to keep your modifications proprietary? Go right ahead -- Nokia did exactly that. What to lift the entire IP networking stack and use it in a new proprietary OS -- fine: that's what Microsoft did -- see the acknowledgements to Luigi Rizzo (FreeBSD committer: http://info.iet.unipi.it/~luigi/) and the University of California, Berkeley in http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/proddocs/standard/copyright.asp Cheers, Matthew -- Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 26 The Paddocks Savill Way PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Marlow Tel: +44 1628 476614 Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
Description: PGP signature