The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
for free software
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :
As defined by Richard M. Stallman and used by the Free Software
movement, this means software that gives users enough freedom to be
used by the free software community. Specifically, users must be
free to modify the software for their private use, and free to
redistribute it either with or without modifications, either
commercially or noncommercially, either gratis or charging a
distribution fee. Free software has existed since the dawn of
computing; Free Software as a movement began in 1984 with the GNU
RMS observes that the English word "free" can refer either to
liberty (where it means the same as the Spanish or French "libre")
or to price (where it means the same as the Spanish "gratis" or
French "gratuit"). RMS and other people associated with the FSF like
to explain the word "free" in "free software" by saying "Free as in
speech, not as in beer."
See also open source. Hard-core proponents of the term "free
software" sometimes reject this newer term, claiming that the style
of argument associated with it ignores or downplays the moral
imperative at the heart of free software.
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