For Userspace.org, this is to aggregate as many useful FOSS repositories in a nexus for easy access, while using the latest technologies to do so and meet all of The Free Software Definitions requirements mentioned below.
The Free Software Definition is set forth in full on FSF’s website at http://fsf.org/ philosophy/free-sw.html. This section presents an abbreviated version that will focus on the parts that are most pertinent to the GPL.
A particular user has software freedom with respect to a particular program if that user has the following freedoms:
The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
The freedom to study how the program works, and modify it
The freedom to redistribute copies.
The freedom to distribute copies of modified versions to others.
The focus on “a particular user” is particularly pertinent here. It is not uncommon for a subset of a specific program’s user base to have these freedoms, while other users of the same version the program have none or only some of these freedoms. Section 12.2 talks in detail about how this can unfortunately happen even if a program is released under the GPL.
Many people refer to software with these freedoms as “Open Source.” Besides having a different political focus from those who call such software by the name “Free Software”,1, those who call the software “Open Source” are often focused on a side issue. Specifically, user access to the source code of a program is a prerequisite to make use of the freedom to modify. However, the important issue is what freedoms are granted in the license that applies to that source code.
Software freedom is only complete when no restrictions are imposed on how these freedoms are exercised. Specifically, users and programmers can exercise these freedoms noncommercially or commercially. Licenses that grant these freedoms for noncommercial activities but prohibit them for commercial activities are considered non-free. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) (the arbiter of what is considered “Open Source”) also regards such licenses as inconsistent with its “Open Source Definition”.