What is free software?

What is free software?

  • “Free software” means software that respects users’ freedom and community.

  • Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. - Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price.

  • To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

  • We sometimes call it “libre software,” borrowing the French or Spanish word for “free” as in freedom.

  • When users don’t control the program, we call it a “nonfree” or “proprietary” program.