Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Linux is famous for its freedom. Freedom is in its blood, to be precise - in its license.
There are 2 types of free things which are usually considered:
1. Free as beer. Linux OS costs you nothing to license.
2. Free as freedom. Linux OS can be modified by yourself any way you like.
Most distros (apart from chosen few who violate first type) satisfy both criteria. With small exception. There are too many things around us which are covered by non-free (of second type) license. Most famous examples are MP3 decoder and hardware firmware.
How can free lover Tux live with these restrictions? Different teams of developers solve the issue different ways. Some of them include all the necessary stuff into distro, adding necessary legal notes (e.g.Linux Mint). Others split free and non-free software between repositories which user is free to connect to (e.g.Debian). Third type tries to avoid non-free software as a class. These puristic distros may be very interesting.
Today I will tell you about one of them: gNewSense.