Linspire, Hit By Naming Confusion, Gives Away Software

San Diego-based Linspire is in the midst of a free giveaway of its desktop Linux software, after the software developer was hit by naming confusion in the Linux community. In a statement on its web site, Linspire said that it would give away its Linspire software through September 6th, after Linux users thought that they could get a free copy of the Linspire Linux distribution through an alternate Linux distribution "Freespire" showed up on Linux distribution sites last week. An independent developer had created "Freespire" based on the open-source components released from Linspire (as a condition of open source licenses), which was subsequently released to the popular open source distribution site Linspire reported that many people downloaded the "Freespire" distribution thinking that it contained a free version of the Linspire software. In an attempt to reign in confusion over the software, Linspire said that it is giving away copies of its software to users in order to expose them to the real product. The company has added a digital coupon code 'freespire' which enables downloads of the company's software for free. The incident highlights the vulnerability of open-source based distribution firms over the ability of any developer to re-create their own versions of their open source distributions.