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The free software movement is a
social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a or one. This may be to carry out, resist or undo a . It is a type of and may involve , or both. Definitions of the term are s ...
with the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms for
software users A user is a person who utilizes a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Comp ...
, namely the freedoms to run the software, to study the software, to modify the software, and to share copies of the software (whether modified or not). Software which meets these requirements (" The Four Essential Freedoms of Free Software") is termed
free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty ...

free software
. Although drawing on traditions and philosophies among members of the 1970s
hacker culture The hacker culture is a subculture of individuals who enjoy the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming the limitations of software systems to achieve novel and clever outcomes. The act of engaging in activities (such as programming or o ...
and academia,
Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of peo ...

Richard Stallman
formally founded the movement in 1983 by launching the
GNU Project The GNU Project () is a free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versi ...
. Stallman later established the
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
in 1985 to support the movement.


Philosophy

The philosophy of the movement is that the use of computers should not lead to people being prevented from cooperating with each other. In practice, this means rejecting
proprietary software Proprietary software, also known as non-free software or closed-source software, is computer software for which the software's publisher or another person reserves some rights from licenses to use, modify, share modifications, or share the softwa ...
, which imposes such restrictions, and promoting
free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty ...

free software
, with the ultimate goal of liberating everyone in
cyberspace Cyberspace is a concept describing a widespread interconnected digital technology. "The expression dates back from the first decade of the diffusion of the internet. It refers to the online world as a world 'apart', as distinct from everyday rea ...
– that is, every computer user. Stallman notes that this action will promote rather than hinder the progression of technology, since, "It means that much wasteful duplication of system programming effort will be avoided. This effort can go instead into advancing the state of the art." Members of the free software movement believe that all users of software should have the freedoms listed in
The Free Software Definition The Free Software Definition written by Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement activist and programmer A computer programmer, sometimes cal ...
. Many of them hold that: it is immoral to prohibit or prevent people from exercising these freedoms; these freedoms are required to create a decent society where software users can help each other; and they are necessary to have control over their computers. Some free software users and programmers do not believe that
proprietary software Proprietary software, also known as non-free software or closed-source software, is computer software for which the software's publisher or another person reserves some rights from licenses to use, modify, share modifications, or share the softwa ...
is strictly immoral, citing an increased profitability in the business models available for proprietary software or technical features and convenience as their reasons. The Free Software Foundation also believes all software needs free documentation, in particular because conscientious programmers should be able to update manuals to reflect modification that they made to the software, but deems the freedom to modify less important for other types of written works. Within the free software movement, the
FLOSS Manuals The FLOSS Manuals (FM) is a non-profit foundation founded in 2006 by Adam Hyde and based in the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in th ...
foundation specialises on the goal of providing such documentation. Members of the free software movement advocate that works which serve a practical purpose should also be free.


Actions


Writing and spreading free software

The core work of the free software movement is focused on software development. The free software movement also rejects proprietary software, refusing to install software that does not give them the freedoms of free software. According to Stallman, "The only thing in the software field that is worse than an unauthorised copy of a proprietary program, is an authorised copy of the proprietary program because this does the same harm to its whole community of users, and in addition, usually the developer, the perpetrator of this evil, profits from it."


Building awareness

Some supporters of the free software movement take up
public speaking Public speaking, also called oratory or oration, has traditionally meant the act of speaking face to face to a live audience. Today it includes any form of speaking (formally and informally) to an audience, including pre-recorded speech delivere ...

public speaking
, or host a stall at software-related conferences to raise awareness of software freedom. This is seen as important since people who receive free software, but who are not aware that it is free software, will later accept a non-free replacement or will add software that is not free software.


Organisations


Asia

* Free Software Movement of India * International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS)


Africa


Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa


North America

*
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
*
Software Freedom Law Center The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) is an organization that provides '' pro bono'' legal representation and related services to not-for-profit developers of free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software ...


South America

*
Free Software Foundation Latin America Free Software Foundation Latin America (FSFLA) is the Latin America * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , religions = , demonym = Latin ...

Software Livre Brasil


Europe

*
Free Software Foundation Europe The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is an '' eingetragener Verein'' (registered voluntary association) under German law The law of Germany (german: das Recht Deutschlands), that being the modern German legal system (german: Deutsches Re ...
*
Framasoft Framasoft is a popular education social Social network, network created in November 2001 by Alexis Kauffmann, Paul Lunetta, and Georges Silva. Since 2014, it is supported by a nonprofit organization of the same name based in Lyon, France. Mainly fo ...

Framasoft

Irish Free Software Organisation


Australia


Free Software Australia


Legislation and government

A lot of lobbying work has been done against
software patent A software patent is a patent NPOV disputes from March 2021 A patent is a Title (property), title that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years in exchange fo ...
s and expansions of
copyright law Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyrig ...

copyright law
. Other lobbying focuses directly on the use of free software by government agencies and government-funded projects.


Asia


India

Government of India had issued Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India in 2015 to drive uptake within the government. With the vision to transform India as a Software Product Nation, National Policy on Software Products-2019 was approved by the Government.


North America


United States

In the United States, there have been efforts to pass legislation at the state level encouraging the use of free software by state government agencies.


South America


Peru

Congressmen
Edgar David VillanuevaDr Edgar David Villanueva Núñez is a politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations betwee ...
and Jacques Rodrich Ackerman have been instrumental in introducing free software in
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
, with bill 1609 on "Free Software in Public Administration". The incident invited the attention of
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
, Peru, whose general manager wrote a letter to Villanueva. His response received worldwide attention and is seen as a classic piece of argumentation favouring use of free software in governments.


Uruguay

Uruguay has a sanctioned law requiring that the state give priority to free software. It also requires that information be exchanged in
open formats An open format is a file format A file format is a way that information is encoded for storage in a . It specifies how s are used to encode information in a digital storage medium. File formats may be either or and may be either unpublis ...
.


Venezuela

The
Government of Venezuela Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is one of se ...
implemented a free software law in January 2006. Decree No. 3,390 mandated all government agencies to migrate to free software over a two-year period.


Europe

Publiccode.eu is a campaign launched demanding a legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well.


France

The
French Gendarmerie The National Gendarmerie (french: Gendarmerie nationale ), along with the National Police, is one of two national police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a St ...
and the
French National Assembly The National Assembly (french: link=no, italics=set, Assemblée nationale; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alaba ...
utilize the
open source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product. The open-source model is a decentralized softwa ...
operating system
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of open-source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product ...

Linux
.


United Kingdom

Gov.uk gov.uk (styled on the site as GOV.UK) is a United Kingdom public sector information website, created by the Government Digital Service to provide a single point of access to HM Government services. The site launched as a Software release life cycl ...
keeps a list of "key components, tools and services that have gone into the construction of GOV.UK".


Events

Free Software events happening all around the world connects people to increase visibility for Free software projects and foster collaborations.


Economics

The free software movement has been extensively analyzed using economic methodologies, including perspectives from
heterodox economics #REDIRECT Heterodox economics#REDIRECT Heterodox economics Heterodox economics is any economic thought or theory that contrasts with orthodox schools of economic thought, or that may be beyond neoclassical economics.Frederic S. Lee, 2008. "heterodo ...
. Of particular interest to economists is the willingness of programmers in the free software movement to work, . In his 1998 article "The High-Tech Gift Economy",
Richard Barbrook Richard Barbrook is an academic in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages at the University of Westminster. Early life and education Barbrook was born in Nottingham in 1956 and grew up in Canterbury, where his father taught US ...
suggested that the then-nascent free software movement represented a return to the
gift economy A gift economy or gift culture is a mode of exchange where Anthropological theories of value, valuables are not sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. Social norms and customs govern giving a gift i ...
building on
hobby A hobby is considered to be a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is time Time is the indefinite ...

hobby
ism and the absence of economic scarcity on the internet.
Gabriella Coleman Enid Gabriella Coleman (usually known as Gabriella Coleman or Biella; born 1973) is an anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Soc ...
has emphasized the importance of accreditation, respect, and
honour Honour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...
within the free software community as a form of compensation for contributions to projects, over and against financial motivations. The Swedish
MarxianMarxian is a term generally used to refer to things related to Karl Marx other than Marxism. It can refer to: * Marxian economics * Marxist philosophy * Marxian class theory See also

* Marxism, which is usually referred to as "Marxist", rathe ...
economist Johan Söderberg has argued that the free software movement represents a complete alternative to
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
that may be expanded to create a post-work society. He argues that the combination of a manipulation of intellectual property law and
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the prope ...
to make goods available to the public and a thorough blend between labor and fun make the free software movement a
communist economy
communist economy
.


Subgroups and schisms

Like many social movements, the free software movement has ongoing internal conflict between the many
FLOSS Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of instructions that tell a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. ...

FLOSS
organizations ( FSF, OSI,
Debian Debian (), also known as Debian GNU/Linux, is a GNU/Linux distribution composed of free and open-source software, developed by the community-supported Debian Project, which was established by Ian Murdock on August 16, 1993. The first version of ...

Debian
,
Mozilla Foundation The Mozilla Foundation (stylized as moz://a) is an American non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized an ...
,
Apache Foundation The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is an American nonprofit corporation (classified as a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States) to support Apache software projects, including the Apache HTTP Server. The ASF was formed from the Apache Group ...
, etc.) and their personalities. For instance there is disagreement about the amount of compromises and pragmatism needed versus the need for strict adherence to values.Pragmatism in the History of GNU, Linux and Free/Open Source Software
Jun 9, 2015 Christopher Tozzi


Open source

Although commercial free software was not uncommon at the time (see
Cygnus Solutions Cygnus Solutions, originally Cygnus Support, was founded in 1989 by John Gilmore, Michael Tiemann and David Henkel-Wallace to provide commercial support for free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software i ...
for example), in 1998 after an announcement that
Netscape Netscape Communications Corporation (originally Mosaic Communications Corporation) was an American independent computer services company with headquarters in Mountain View, California Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, Californi ...

Netscape
would liberate their popular Web browser, a strategy session was held to develop a stronger business case for free software which would focus on technology rather than politics. After this, Eric Raymond and
Bruce Perens Bruce Perens (born around 1958) is an American computer programmer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal contexts), is a person who creates computer s ...
founded the
Open Source Initiative The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the steward of the Open Source definition, Open Source Definition, the set of rules that define Open Source Software, open source software. It is a California public-benefit nonprofit corporation, with 501(c)(3 ...
(OSI) to promote the term "
Open source software Open-source software (OSS) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built ...
" as an
alternative term for free software Alternative terms for free software, such as Open-source software, open source, Free and open-source software, FOSS, and FLOSS, have been a controversial issue among free and open-source software users from the late 1990s onwards. These terms shar ...
. The OSI wanted to address the perceived shortcomings in the ambiguous term "free software". In addition, some members of the OSI didn't follow the free software movement's focus on non-free software as a social and ethical problem; instead focusing on the advantages of open source as superior model for software development. The latter became the view of people like Eric Raymond and Linus Torvalds, while Bruce Perens argues that open source was simply meant to popularize free software under a new brand, and even called for a return to the basic ethical principles. Some free software advocates use the terms "
Free and Open-Source Software Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built ...
" (FOSS) or "Free/Libre and Open-Source Software" (FLOSS) as a form of inclusive compromise, drawing on both philosophies to bring both free software advocates and open-source software advocates together to work on projects with more cohesion. Some users believe that a compromise term encompassing both aspects is an ideal solution in order to promote both the user's freedom with the software and the pragmatic efficiency of an open-source development model. This eclectic view is reinforced by the fact that the overwhelming majority of OSI-approved licenses and self-avowed open-source programs are also compatible with the free software formalisms and vice versa. While some people prefer to link the two ideas of "open-source software" and "free software" together, they offer two separate ideas and values. This ambiguity began in 1998 when people started to use the term "open-source software" rather than "free software". People in the community of free software used these separate terms as a way to differentiate what they did. Richard Stallman has called open source "''a non-movement''", because it "''does not campaign for anything''". Open source addresses software being open as a practical question as opposed to an ethical dilemma. In other words, it focuses more on the development of software than the ethical, moral, political, and societal issues surrounding software in general. The open-source movement ultimately determines that non-free software is not the solution of best interest but nonetheless a solution. On the other hand, the free software movement views free software as a moral imperative: that proprietary software should be rejected for selfish and social reasons, and that only free software should be developed and taught to cope with the task of making computing technology beneficial to humanity. It is argued that whatever economical or technical merits free software may have, those are byproducts stemming from the rights that free software developers and users must enjoy. An example of this would be the unlikelihood of free software being designed to . At the same time, the benefits purveyed by the open-source movement have been challenged both from inside and outside the free software movement. It is unclear whether free and open-source software actually leads to more performant and less vulnerable code, with researchers Robert Glass and
Benjamin Mako Hill Benjamin Mako Hill is a free software activist, hacker A computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of o ...

Benjamin Mako Hill
providing statistical insight that this is usually not the case. Regarding the meaning and misunderstandings of the word ''free'', those who work within the free software camp have searched for less ambiguous terms and analogies like " free beer vs free speech" in efforts to convey the intended semantics, so that there is no confusion concerning the profitability of free software. The loan adjective ''libre'' has gained some traction in the English-speaking free software movement as unequivocally conveying the state of being in freedom that free software refers to. This is not considered schismatic; ''libre'' is seen as an alternative explanatory device. In fact, free software has always been unambiguously referred to as "''libre software''" (in translation) in languages where the word ''libre'' or a
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
is native. In India, where free software has gained a lot of ground, the unambiguous term ''swatantra'' and its variants are widely used instead of "free". The free software movement rebuts that while "free" may be prone to confuse novices because of the duplicity of meanings, at least one of the meanings is completely accurate, and that it is hard to get it wrong once the difference has been learned. It is also ironically noted that "open source" isn't exempt of poor semantics either, as a misunderstanding arises whereby people think source code disclosure is enough to meet the open-source criteria, when in fact it is not. The switch from the free software movement to the open-source movement has had negative effects on the progression of community, according to Christopher Kelty, who dedicates a scholarly chapter to the Free Software Movement in "Theorising Media and Practice". The open-source movement denies that selectivity and the privatization of software is unethical. Although the open-source movement is working towards the same social benefits as the free software movement, Kelty claims that by disregarding this fundamental belief of the free software advocates, one is destroying the overall argument. If it can be claimed that it is ethical to limit the internet and other technology to only users who have the means to use this software, then there is no argument against the way things are at the moment; there is no need to complain if all morality is in effect. Although the movements have separate values and goals, people in both the open-source community and free software community collaborate when it comes to practical projects. By 2005, Richard Glass considered the differences to be a "serious fracture" but "vitally important to those on both sides of the fracture" and "of little importance to anyone else studying the movement from a software engineering perspective" since they have had "little effect on the field".


Stallman and Torvalds

The two most prominent people associated with the movement,
Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of peo ...

Richard Stallman
and
Linus Torvalds Linus Benedict Torvalds ( , ; born 28 December 1969) is a Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the main developer of the Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source soft ...
, may be seen as representatives of the value based versus apolitical philosophies, as well as the GNU versus Linux
coding style Programming style, also known as code style, is a set of rules or guidelines used when writing the source code for a computer program. It is often claimed that following a particular programming style will help programmers read and understand sourc ...
s. In the
GNU/Linux naming controversy Within the free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to C ...
the FSF argues for the term GNU/Linux because GNU is a longstanding project to develop a free operating system, of which they assert the kernel was the last missing piece.


Criticism and controversy


Principle compromises

Eric Raymond criticises the speed at which the free software movement is progressing, suggesting that temporary compromises should be made for long-term gains. Raymond argues that this could raise awareness of the software and thus increase the free software movement's influence on relevant standards and legislation. Richard Stallman, on the other hand, sees the current level of compromise as a greater cause for worry.


Programmer income

Stallman said that this is where people get the misconception of "free": there is no wrong in programmers' requesting payment for a proposed project, or charging for copies of free software. Restricting and controlling the user's decisions on use is the actual violation of freedom. Stallman defends that in some cases, monetary incentive is not necessary for motivation since the pleasure in expressing creativity is a reward in itself. Conversely, Stallman admits that it is not easy to raise money for free software projects.


"Viral" copyleft licensing

The free software movement champions
copyleft Copyleft is the practice of granting the right to freely distribute and modify intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things ...

copyleft
licensing schema (often pejoratively called " viral licenses"). In its strongest form, copyleft mandates that any works ''derived'' from copyleft-licensed software must also carry a copyleft license, so the license spreads from work to work like a computer virus might spread from machine to machine. Stallman has previously stated his opposition to describing the
GNU GPL The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely-used free software licenses that guarantee end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software. The licenses were originally written by Richard Stallma ...
as "viral". These licensing terms can only be enforced through asserting copyrights. Critics of copyleft licensing challenge the idea that restricting modifications is in line with the free software movement's emphasis on various "freedoms", especially when alternatives like
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, hi ...
,
BSD The Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is a discontinued based on , developed and distributed by the (CSRG) at the . The term "BSD" commonly refers to its descendants, including , , , and . BSD was initially called Berkeley Unix because it ...
, and
Apache The Apache () are a group of culturally related Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans ...
licenses are more permissive. Proponents enjoy the assurance that copylefted work cannot usually be incorporated into non-free software projects. They emphasize that copyleft licenses may not attach for all uses and that in any case, developers can simply choose not to use copyleft-licensed software.


License proliferation and compatibility

FLOSS
license proliferation License proliferation is the phenomenon of an abundance of already existing and the continued creation of new software license A software license is a legal instrument (usually by way of contract law, with or without printed material) governin ...
is a serious concern in the FLOSS domain due to increased complexity of
license compatibility License compatibility is a legal framework that allows for pieces of software with different software licenses to be distributed together. The need for such a framework arises because the different licenses can contain contradictory requirements ...
considerations which limits and complicates source code reuse between FLOSS projects.OSI and License Proliferation
on fossbazar.com by Martin Michlmayr ''"Too many different licenses makes it difficult for licensors to choose: it's difficult to choose a good license for a project because there are so many. Some licenses do not play well together: some open source licenses do not inter-operate well with other open source licenses, making it hard to incorporate code from other projects. Too many licenses makes it difficult to understand what you are agreeing to in a multi-license distribution: since a FLOSS application typically contains code with different licenses and people use many applications which each contain one or several licenses, it's difficult to see what your obligations are."'' (on August 21st, 2008)
The OSI and the FSF maintain their own lists of dozens of existing and acceptable FLOSS licenses. There is an agreement among most that the creation of new licenses should be minimized and those created should be made compatible with the major existing FLOSS licenses. Therefore, there was a strong controversy around the update of the
GNU GPLv2 The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely-used free software licenses that guarantee end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software. The licenses were originally written by Richard Stallma ...
to the
GNU GPLv3 The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely-used free software licenses that guarantee end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software. The licenses were originally written by Richard Stallma ...
in 2007, as the updated license is not compatible with the previous version. Several projects (mostly of the open source faction like the
Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the softwar ...
) decided to not adopt the GPLv3 while almost all of the GNU project's packages adopted it.


See also

*
GNU Manifesto __NOTOC__ 235px, Richard M. Stallman (cover picture for Free as in Freedom'')">Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software">Free as in Freedom'') The ''GNU Manifesto'' is a call-to-action by Richard Stallman Richard Mat ...
*
History of free software In the 1950s and 1960s, computer operating software and compilers were delivered as a part of hardware purchases without separate fees. At the time, source code, the human-readable form of software, was generally distributed with the software pro ...
* Linux adoption *
Open-source movement The open-source-software movement is a movement that supports the use of open-source licenses for some or all software, a part of the broader notion of open collaborationOpen collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies ...
*
Free-culture movement The free-culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify the creative works of others in the form of free content or open content without compensation to, or the consent of, the work's original creators, b ...
*
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
*
Open Source Initiative The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the steward of the Open Source definition, Open Source Definition, the set of rules that define Open Source Software, open source software. It is a California public-benefit nonprofit corporation, with 501(c)(3 ...
*
Software Freedom Conservancy Software Freedom Conservancy is an organization that provides a non-profit home and infrastructure support, including legal services, for free software, free/open source software projects. The organization was established in 2006, with the help o ...
* Free Software Movement of India * Free Software Foundation of India *
Free Software Foundation Europe The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is an '' eingetragener Verein'' (registered voluntary association) under German law The law of Germany (german: das Recht Deutschlands), that being the modern German legal system (german: Deutsches Re ...
* Free Software Movement Karnataka * Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu *
Swecha Swecha is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social ben ...

Swecha
*
Gift economy A gift economy or gift culture is a mode of exchange where Anthropological theories of value, valuables are not sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. Social norms and customs govern giving a gift i ...


References


Further reading

* * David M. Berry, ''Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source'', Pluto Press, 2008, * Johan Söderberg, ''Hacking Capitalism: The Free and Open Source Software Movement'', Routledge, 2007,


External links


What is Free Software?
- Essay by Karl Fogel.
The Free Software Movement and the Future of Freedom
a 2006 lecture by Richard Stallman


The GNU Project Philosophy Directory
containing many defining documents of the free software movement
An interview with Stallman, "Free Software as a social movement"
* Christian Imhorst
''Anarchy and Source Code - What does the Free Software Movement have to do with Anarchism?
', (licence:
GFDL The GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL or simply GFDL) is a copyleft Copyleft is the practice of granting the right to freely distribute and modify with the requirement that the same rights be preserved in derivative works created fr ...
), 2005
An anti-DRM campaign
- by Bill Xu and Richard Stallman



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