Recently, I discovered that Apple makes Supertux available on the website as a free download. That’s pretty cool. Problem is that they say the license is “Freeware” instead of “Free software” or specifying the GPL.
Sure, â€œfreewareâ€ is not incorrect (if youâ€™ll excuse the double negative), but itâ€™s not quite correct either. Itâ€™s leaving out the most important component of the software, itâ€™s free license.
Itâ€™s available for no charge (freeware) because the license that it has, enables others to distribute it for free. The license is the reason that it is able to be freeware, so itâ€™s thatâ€™s the more important aspect.
Of course, Apple can say whatever they want, but a requirement of the GPL is to make the source code available and license clearly visible.
Nevertheless, I contacted the development team informing them, just in case they took exception. However, they didnâ€™t care, with Ryan Flegel saying:
â€œFreewareâ€ isnâ€™t incorrect, and itâ€™s also a term that everybody understands. I think itâ€™s fine the way it is.
And that’s fine, because it’s their choice. I just wanted to make sure that they are happy with it 🙂