What is Free Software?

| | 3 min read

Situations often demand the need for certain amendments in the software widely used. This can vary from user to user according to the requirements of different businesses. The potential range of possibilities offered, if such amendments can be brought about freely, can be pretty extensive. Here the term “freely” doesn’t refer to the monetary value of the software but rather the liberty of wide and unrestricted usage of the software. This is the libre the users are entitled to.

We have moved on to a faster world wherein a complete dependency on a vendor for a software product is not called for; using software registered as Free Software, a user needn’t settle for its limited enhancements.

The Free Software movement was conceived in 1983 by Richard M. Stallman to satisfy the need for and to give the benefit of "software freedom" to computer users. Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to provide the organizational structure to advance his Free Software ideas.

Four Freedoms

Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction and may be copied and redistributed in the modified or unmodified form either without restriction or with minimal restrictions to ensure that further recipients can also do these things and that manufacturers of consumer-facing hardware allow user modifications to their hardware. Free software is generally available without charge but can have a fee.

Free Software is free not in terms of its price but in terms of the liberty of its usage; hence the software of the name free and open source software (FOSS) and free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) are used alternatively.

The Free software license should be given to make software Free Software. It is done when the source code or the human-readable form of the program is made available to the recipient with a notice granting the above permissions. The "Software Freedom Law Center" was founded in 2005 to protect and advance Free Software. It is software for the users, by the users, and of the users!

Why Free Software?

Most people fail to understand the importance of the Free Software Movement. Often failing the common notion that software is simply something that runs on a computer, today, the software is an integral part of our lives and, to some extent, controls certain aspects of it. This implies that the entities that control those aspects can also indirectly affect our lives.

The Free Software Movement is the democratization of Software. To prevent those external entities from taking control, the only viable alternative is to give this power to the people who need it; the users themselves. It is software for the people, of the people and by the people. This forms the core of Free Software.

We firmly believe that Free Software is the way to the future. Strictly adhering to this vision, we are trying to promote Free Software in whatever way we can.

If Zyxware Technologies have to define our philosophy in the shortest possible form, it can be stated as 'committed to Free Software.'

Free Software, when viewed through a philosophical lens, includes an acknowledgement of the contribution of others to the platforms on which we stand. It also drives our commitment to enrich those platforms and a deep commitment to individuals and their agency. Our commitment to a privacy-centred data strategy is a direct result of our adherence to this philosophy.