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1 definition found
 for free software
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  free software
   n.
  
          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
          Project.
  
          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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