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  4. <title>FSFE - Preamble</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <div align="center">
  8. <h2>Preamble of the Free Software Foundation Europe</h2>
  9. Georg C. F. Greve &lt;<a href="mailto:greve@fsfe.org">
  10. greve@fsfe.org</a>&gt;
  11. <br/>
  12. </div>
  13. <p>
  14. Upon entering the digital age, in which real and virtual space will
  15. equally determine the social, cultural and scientific development of
  16. mankind, the Free Software Foundation Europe has the long-term goal to
  17. raise and work on the questions this will necessarily raise.
  18. </p>
  19. <p>
  20. In this regard the direct function is the unselfish promotion of
  21. Free Software as well as creating and propagating the awareness of the
  22. related philosophical and social questions.
  23. </p>
  24. <p>
  25. As its acknowledged sister organisation, the FSFE will join
  26. forces with the Free Software Foundation founded by Richard
  27. M. Stallman in the United States of America. The latter, recognised
  28. tax-exempt charitable organisation in the USA, has been dedicating
  29. itself since 1984 to the promotion and distribution of Free software
  30. and in particular the GNU-System, a Unix-like operating system. This
  31. system is mostly known by one of its variants, GNU/Linux, which since
  32. 1993 has been used successfully on many computers.
  33. </p>
  34. <p>
  35. The term Free Software in the sense of the FSFE does not refer
  36. to the price, but rather to the following four freedoms:
  37. </p>
  38. <ul>
  39. <li> 1. freedom: the freedom to use a program for any purpose</li>
  40. <li> 2. freedom: the freedom to study the program and adapt it to your
  41. own needs. </li>
  42. <li> 3. freedom: the freedom to make copies for others.</li>
  43. <li> 4. freedom: the freedom to improve a program and make these
  44. improvements available to others, so that the whole community
  45. benefits. </li>
  46. </ul>
  47. <p>
  48. This definition of Free Software goes back to the idea of freely
  49. exchanging knowledge and ideas that can traditionally be found in
  50. scientific fields. Like thoughts, software is non-tangible and
  51. duplicable without loss. Passing feeds an evolutionary process,
  52. advancing thoughts and software.
  53. </p>
  54. <p>
  55. Only Free Software preserves the possibility to comprehend and build
  56. upon scientific results. For scientists, it is the only kind of
  57. software which corresponds to the ideals of a free
  58. science. Accordingly, the promotion of free software is also a
  59. promotion of science.
  60. </p>
  61. <p>
  62. The distribution of information and the forming of an opinion are done
  63. increasingly by digital media, and the trend is to foster the use of
  64. those means for a direct citizen participation to
  65. democracy. Therefore, a central task of the FSFE is to train
  66. proficient citizens in these media, thereby promoting democracy.
  67. </p>
  68. <p>
  69. Digital space ("Cyberspace"), with software as its medium and its
  70. language has an enormous potential for the promotion of all mental and
  71. cultural aspects of mankind. By making it commonly available and
  72. opening up the medium, Free Software grants equal chances and
  73. protection of privacy.
  74. </p>
  75. <p>
  76. Coining the awareness for the problems related to the digital age in
  77. all parts of society is long-term goal and a core aspect of the work
  78. of the FSFE.
  79. </p>
  80. <p>
  81. Therefore the FSFE will seek to increase the use of Free
  82. Software in schools and universities in order to parallelise the
  83. education in real space matters with the creation of understanding and
  84. awareness of problems in virtual space.
  85. </p>
  86. <p>
  87. Free Software guarantees traceable results and decision-making
  88. processes in science and public life as well as the individual rights
  89. to free development of personality and liberty of opinion. It is the
  90. job of the Free Software Foundation Europe to carry Free Software into
  91. all areas that touch public life or "informational human rights" of citizens.
  92. </p>
  93. </body>
  94. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
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