and Bill Joy taunt RMS
Or basically software licensed to protect some user and 3rd party developer rights, but not quite as much as a GPL would. Please look up nodes regarding the GPL license to recognize one of many meanings free has to the everyday computer user. The meaning of free in this node is that of programmer freedom as explained in the GPL.
Bell Labs of Lucent Technologies Inc. made significant contribution to the nearly free software world by releasing the source code to Plan 9--a successor in many ways to the UNIX tradition of operating system design. (Lucent is the employer of K&R)
Sun Microsystems Inc. also toyed with the idea of releasing the source code (or at least--complete spec and docs) to SunOS, Solaris, Java, and the latest NFS builds to the nearly free software world. The current status of the license seems to be in uncertain. (Sun Microsystems pays Bill Joy's bills). On a positive note, sometimes things do get freed--for example see the GPLed source code to the same development project that enable the retail call office suite Star Office.
ESR just taunts RMS whenever he feels like it. Usually through the occational phone calls or the odd manifestos. ESR wrote the odd software and heads one of the noteworthy techno-political societies promoting Open Source Software (OSS). RMS mainly get pissed (disclaimer: I am not RMS, so I don't know the right word here--pissed could be strong--or weak--or not even the right word--take what I say in this node with a grain of salt) at the OSS movement perhaps because it has been pointed out to some GPL user that maybe OSS software aren't promoted in a way that protects some crucial freedom a software developer/user get with software licensed with the GPL license.
See lawyers, internet citizenship, freedom, software, Free Software, RMS, Bill Joy, and ESR.