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Subject: RE: mp3 cutting and pasting
From: Fred Maxwell (rockbox_at_anti-spam.org)
Date: 2004-08-09


Johan Vromans wrote:

> Remember: Any program that does not come with complete sources and an
> appropriate Open Source license is not free, and you have no control
> over what it is doing on your computer.

What total, utter BS. If it doesn't cost anything, then it is free.

The vast majority of people who run software don't even have compilers much
less the technical know-how to modify software, so there is no difference to
them between a binary-only release and an open source release. When they
say "free", they mean "no monetary cost."

As to your "control" issues, you have no less control over what a closed
source program does than you do for an open source program. You click
buttons, check boxes, type on the keyboard, or pass in command line
arguments. That's how you control the program.

Before you answer, think about this: OpenOffice.org consists of
approximately 9 million lines of source code and 30,000 files. Are you
going to honestly tell me that you read all of that source code prior to
running it on your computer? Did you read, and understand, the over 30
million lines that comprise Linux (http://librenix.com/?inode=1026) prior to
installing and running it? Did you read the ~2 million lines of source that
make up Mozilla before you ran it? If not, then you had no "control" over
what that software was doing on your computer. You might have been able to
figure out what it had done, had something gone awry, but that's closing the
barn doors after the horses get out.

Regards,
  Fred Maxwell

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