Category Archives: Free Software

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.

Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Why The Firm, Simple Declaration Against ACTA

by Richard Stallman

ACTA (1), a treaty designed to attack the rights of computer users in some 40-odd countries — and others later — is encountering increasing opposition. ACTA threatens, in a disguised way, to punish Internet users with disconnection if they are accused of sharing, and requires countries to prohibit software that can break Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), also known as digital handcuffs (2).

Richard Stallman

Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist and computer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project[2] to create a free Unix-like operating system, and has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded theFree Software Foundation.


Increasingly, proprietary software companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe are pushing video and audio formats that restrict access and restrict software developers.

Thankfully, there is an alternative that can be played on all computers without restriction — Ogg. With Ogg, professional grade multimedia formats such as Vorbis, Theora, Speex and FLAC come to life!

Vorbis and Theora are used extensively by free software projects, artists and a growing number of music and video distributors.

Defective by Design

What is DRM? Digital Restrictions Management. is a broad-based anti-DRM campaign that is targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. The campaign aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. DRM products have features built-in that restrict what jobs they can do. These products have been intentionally crippled from the users’ perspective, and are therefore “defective by design”.

Free Software Foundation Europe

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit and in some countries charitable organisation dedicated to Free Software. FSFE maintains that the freedoms to use, study, share and improve software are critical to ensure equal participation in the information age. We work to create general understanding and support for software freedom in politics, law and society-at-large. We also promote the development of technologies, such as the GNU/Linux operating system, that deliver these freedoms to all participants in digital society.

FSFE’s work is made possible by many individual contributions, in particular to the Fellowship of FSFE. One way to contribute is to join now, and to encourage others to do likewise.

GNU Operating System

The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software—software which respects your freedom.

Screenshot of GNU

Unix-like operating systems are built from a collection of applications, libraries, and developer tools—plus a program to allocate resources and talk to the hardware, known as a kernel.

The Hurd, GNU’s kernel, is actively developed, but is still some way from being ready for daily use, so GNU is often used with a kernel called Linux.

The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, now used by millions and sometimes incorrectly called simply “Linux”.

The name “GNU” is a recursive acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix!”; it is pronounced g-noo, as one syllable with no vowel sound between the g and the n.