# Paul Sutton

University of costumed heroes

Software freedom is important as it gives users the power to be in control of the software they use and the hardware it is installed on.

GNU.org defines free software as :

What is Free Software?

Free software means the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the 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”.

More precisely, free software means users of a program have the four essential freedoms:


* The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0). * The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2). * The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

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The latest Free Software Foundation video hopefully helps illustrate what can happen when you put trust in closed source systems that cannot be subject to scrutiny through access to the source code.

Examples of common free software

You can follow the fsf on the federated social media networks such as Mastodon

Initiatives such as Tech Pledge are also a good idea for getting people to think about how they behave on line and starting to build better, more friendly, respectful communities.