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2005 May 25 18:09

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Re: [vox-tech] Is Google wrong about the license on ethereal?
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Re: [vox-tech] Is Google wrong about the license on ethereal?



On Wed, 25 May 2005, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

> Dear all,
> 
> According to:
> 
>    http://directory.fsf.org/All_Packages_in_Directory/ethereal.html
> 
> ethereal is licensed under the GNU GPL.  But if you do a Google search on
> "ethereal license", Google returns:
> 
>    Ethereal
>    License: Freeware
>    According to http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4449.html

This feature of Google is pretty selective... I was unable to guess
another software package that would trigger this "license" display.

> And in fact, the majorgeeks.com website does indeed claim that ethereal is
> "freeware."
> 
> When push comes to shove, I don't really know what "freeware" means, but it
> sounds like it means "software provided without charge, without warrantee,
> and without obligations placed on the recipient of the software".  But this
> is just my guess.  If so, the GNU GPL is incompatible with the term
> "freeware" for a number of reasons.
>
> Thoughts?

My brain is empty... I think only Google(tm) thoughts... which leads to...

  http://www.atis.org/tg2k/_freeware.html

and

  http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,sid9_gci212159,00.html

The key seems to be "no-cost" or "free-as-in-beer".  Warranty and
obligations are not specified... in fact, obligations are often included
in freeware regarding not decompiling it.

It seems that since freeware is always free-as-in-beer, but it is
acceptable to charge for free software, these definitions are largely
overlapping but not wholly so.

Which brings us back to Google's propensity to regurgitate information
from the web without human review... majorgeeks being the garbage in and
Google feeding us what it swallowed.  Yum! ;)

/me wonders what this is doing in vox-tech...

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