Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3337 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Definition of free
  • From: Jerry Feldman <gaf@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 09:40:13 -0400
  • Message-id: <200604210940.13511.gaf@xxxxxxx>
This is from the Free Software Foundation which is the originator of the
term. It is irrelevant what the dictionary states as RMS defines what "free
software" is.
'Free software is a matter of liberty not price. You should think of "free"
as in "free speech".'

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute,
study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four
kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs
(freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to
the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the
source code is a precondition for this.

A program is free software if users have all of these freedoms. Thus, you
should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without
modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to anyone
anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other things) that you
do not have to ask or pay for permission.

Jerry Feldman <gaf@xxxxxxx>
Boston Linux and Unix user group PGP key id:C5061EA9
PGP Key fingerprint:053C 73EC 3AC1 5C44 3E14 9245 FB00 3ED5 C506 1EA9

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