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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
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  4. <title>FSFE - What is Free Software?</title>
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  7. <h1>Free Software</h1>
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  11. <div id="introduction">
  12. <p>Free Software is software that guarantees a set of freedoms to its users. It is 'free' as in freedom not as in 'free of charge'. Although <a href="/about/basics/freesoftware.html#terminology">a variety of terms</a> are used to refer to it, at FSFE <a href="/documents/whyfs.html">we prefer to talk about Free Software</a> because this better reflects the philosophy of the <a href="/freesoftware/basics/4freedoms.html">four freedoms</a> which are intrinsic to it. </p>
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  14. <p>The Free Software movement was started by Richard Stallman in 1983 when he inaugurated the <a href="/freesoftware/basics/gnuproject.html">GNU project</a>. This was based on the idea that people should have full control over the software they own. Stallman recognised that in order to achieve this, access to a computer program's <a href="/freesoftware/basics/sourcecode.html">source code</a> was a fundamental requirement. Beyond the realm of just the computer industry, the struggle for Free Software has extended to the adoption of laws on <a href="/activities/os/os.html">open standards</a>.</p>
  15. <div class="related">
  16. <h2>Related information</h2>
  17. <ul>
  18. <li><a href="/about/basics/freesoftware.html">A definition of Free Software</a></li>
  19. <li><a href="/freesoftware/basics/comparison.html">A comparison of the different terms for Free Software (Open Source, FOSS, FLOSS etc.)</a></li>
  20. <li><a href="/documents/whyfs.html">Why do we speak about Free Software</a></li>
  21. <li><a href="/freesoftware/basics/sourcecode.html">What is a 'source code'?</a></li>
  22. <li><a href="/freesoftware/basics/who-owns-free-software.html">Who owns Free Software?</a></li>
  23. <li><a href="/activities/os/os.html">What are 'Open Standards'?</a></li>
  24. <li><a href="/freesoftware/basics/4freedoms.html">How to explain the four freedoms of Free Software to children</a></li>
  25. <li><a href="/freesoftware/basics/gnuproject.html">What is the 'GNU project'?</a></li>
  26. <li><a href="/freesoftware/transcripts/rms-2009-05-22-eliberatica.html">Richard Stallman lecture on the meaning and importance of Free Software</a></li>
  27. <li><a href="/freesoftware/transcripts/rms-fs-2006-03-09.html">Richard Stallman lecture on the Free Software movement and the future of freedom</a></li>
  28. </ul>
  29. </div>
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  31. <timestamp>$Date: 2009-07-09 10:06:27 +0200 (Thu, 09 Jul 2009) $ $Author: maelle $</timestamp>
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