The Return Of “Freeware”

Like me you may be surprised to see the suggestion from the IMCO Committee to change “free and open source software” in the CRA to “freeware and open source software” in an amendment from Karen Melchior MEP1. It's not a word I have heard much this decade, so I checked with her team and discovered this was an informed and intentional choice, not a misunderstanding (by them, at least).

A squirrel peeps over a log

They told me that they believed the term “free and open source software” was misunderstood2 by the Commission to be two categories — proprietary software supplied without charge and software developed in the open under an OSI-approved license. They inquired and found that the team authoring the draft at the Commission very much intended to create an exception for proprietary software delivered at no charge, so have proposed this amended language to clarify the matter along with an amendment (129) defining “freeware” for absolute clarity.

I should add I have yet to meet anyone from the Commission who can substantiate this.

Notes, Tags and Mentions

  1. The IMCO Amendments include this word in Amendment 66 and 120 and it is defined in Amendment 129.
  2. My earlier article “Getting Back To A Social Frame” appears relevant here.

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