Activity 1; Tutorial 12; Discussing 'Free' content

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Consider for example a handout used for a professional development workshop that is licensed under a free cultural works license and stored as a pdf document for download.

  • Using the four freedoms described above, would this handout meet the requirements of the freedoms specified in the free software definition?

CASE STUDY: Looking at the four concepts of 'Free' content[edit]

  • Freedom to use, that is the freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    • This depends on the way the pdf has been initialized. This will determine whether 'any purpose' is reached as a criteria for being 'free'. i.e. If you cannot copy text or images then it cannot be used for ANY purpose. However if the pdf is fully accessible with all attributes being accessible then it is 'free'.
  • Help yourself which is the freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    • In a pdf it is not always possible to see the source code and editing a pdf is difficult. A wiki type approach is better if this is desired.
  • Help your neighbour that is, the freedom to redistribute copies without restriction (freedom 2).
    • You can donwload it and use it as you please and so it meets this requirement.
  • Help your community referring to the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    • With no access to the source code this is problematic however improvements made by the author can be added to donwalod.

If any of these freedoms is substantially missing, then it is not free software. So for example, so called freeware, which is copyright software that you can download without cost but without access to the source code is not free software.

Reubencutfield (talk)13:40, 30 November 2010