Free software movement

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The free software movement advocates the creation and sharing of free software.

Software genius and GNU pioneer Richard Stallman defines free software as respecting the "essential freedoms" to:

  • Run the program for any purpose
  • Study how the software works and modify it to meet your needs
  • Distribute copies of the software
  • Publish modifications to the software

In order to fulfill these requirements access to the source code is essential, so free software is a type of open source software. The right to distribute the software may be subject to a clause that ensures that future recipients of the software have the same freedoms.

Stallman and his Free Software Foundation created the General Public License, which grants the user specific rights that are not typically granted for proprietary software.

Examples of free software are the Linux operating system and the Apache web server, which this very site runs on.


Articles by Richard Stallman: