They claim the word "Free" for software available under the GPL.
Let us consider some developer freedoms, and some alternative licenses for blocks of code:
|Link / Use||Four boring freedoms||Reuse the code||Sue author|
Looking at this, it's reasonably obvious to me which licenses offer the most Freedom to the developer; that being the BSD/MIT/ISC family.
These are the licenses I use personally, and the licenses I use to define Free Software; I don't see how it can be taken any other way.
- Link / use: The license allows you to use the software as a whole, for any purpose (i.e. it's free for use in assisting proprietary software and terrorism) (like freedom 0, but applicable to libraries).
- Four boring freedoms: Follows the four freedoms outlined by the GNU project.
- Reuse the code: The freedom to study and reuse the code, for any purpose**** (especially for terroism).
- Sue the author: Generally, with proprietary software and with non-software licenses, you have the right to hold the author responsible for their work, at least, up to a certain value. The author may want to disown this responsibility.
- The LGPL is discouraged, the GDFL is not for software (and generally considered non-free anyway), the AGPL is an extension of the GPL.
** I can't think of nearly any prominent Freeware libraries, either. Foobar2000's SDK?
*** The WTFPL's FAQ covers "Why is there no “no warranty” clause?", and also why Public Domain isn't really a license.
**** Apparently there's some confusion as to what I mean by "for any purpose". I include using the code inside other applications, regardless of their license, as a purpose. That is, the GPL does not allow code reuse for any purpose, because it does not allow code reuse in proprietary applications.