Free software

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Revision as of 07:07, 25 February 2004 by (talk) (Deleted anti-career language because it is not true today and historically inaccurate. The replacement text explains why the previous text was inaccurate.)
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Free software is only good if it spreads a moral purchasing ideal. Just "demand software for free" isn't good enough (nor is it an accurate portrayal of the meaning of software freedom, which the free software movement champions).

Free software is not, however, built on discouraging anyone from distributing software for a fee. In fact, the "free" in free software has to do with freedom to share and modify software, not an issue of price. Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, distributed the free software he wrote for a fee for quite some time and was able to live based on what he made. The Free Software Foundation encourages people to distribute free software for the highest price the market will bear so that one makes money one can use in the development of more free software. That one can get free software at no fee is a side-effect of the ability to share the software.

In time, businesses would be built on free software (such as Cygnus and Red Hat) and do quite well both in terms of their own ability to stay in business and their contributions to the free software community.