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