Free software

What is the Free Software Movement?

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The Free Software Foundation encourages selling free software. It is very efficient and reliable. Get to Know Us. The Internet can be accessed almost anywhere by numerous means, including through mobile Internet devices. With local-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud backup, you can rest assured your files are secure with DriveHQ no matter what happens. Web browsers such as Opera are available on these advanced handsets, which can also run a wide variety of other Internet software.

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In , copyright law was extended to computer programs. In , Richard Stallman , one of the original authors of the popular Emacs program and a longtime member of the hacker community at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory , announced the GNU project , the purpose of which was to produce a completely non-proprietary Unix-compatible operating system, saying that he had become frustrated with the shift in climate surrounding the computer world and its users.

In his initial declaration of the project and its purpose, he specifically cited as a motivation his opposition to being asked to agree to non-disclosure agreements and restrictive licenses which prohibited the free sharing of potentially profitable in-development software, a prohibition directly contrary to the traditional hacker ethic.

He developed a free software definition and the concept of " copyleft ", designed to ensure software freedom for all. Some non-software industries are beginning to use techniques similar to those used in free software development for their research and development process; scientists, for example, are looking towards more open development processes, and hardware such as microchips are beginning to be developed with specifications released under copyleft licenses see the OpenCores project, for instance.

Creative Commons and the free culture movement have also been largely influenced by the free software movement. In , Richard Stallman , longtime member of the hacker community at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory , announced the GNU project, saying that he had become frustrated with the effects of the change in culture of the computer industry and its users. The manifesto included significant explanation of the GNU philosophy, Free Software Definition and " copyleft " ideas.

The Linux kernel , started by Linus Torvalds , was released as freely modifiable source code in The first licence was a proprietary software licence.

However, with version 0. BSDi lawsuit was settled out of court in All free software licenses must grant users all the freedoms discussed above. However, unless the applications' licenses are compatible, combining programs by mixing source code or directly linking binaries is problematic, because of license technicalities.

Programs indirectly connected together may avoid this problem. The majority of free software falls under a small set of licenses. The most popular of these licenses are: The Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative both publish lists of licenses that they find to comply with their own definitions of free software and open-source software respectively:.

The FSF list is not prescriptive: So it's possible for a license to be free and not in the FSF list. The OSI list only lists licenses that have been submitted, considered and approved. All open-source licenses must meet the Open Source Definition in order to be officially recognized as open source software. Free software on the other hand is a more informal classification that does not rely on official recognition.

Nevertheless, software licensed under licenses that do not meet the Free Software Definition cannot rightly be considered free software. Apart from these two organizations, the Debian project is seen by some to provide useful advice on whether particular licenses comply with their Debian Free Software Guidelines. Debian doesn't publish a list of approved licenses, so its judgments have to be tracked by checking what software they have allowed into their software archives.

That is summarized at the Debian web site. There is debate over the security of free software in comparison to proprietary software, with a major issue being security through obscurity. A popular quantitative test in computer security is to use relative counting of known unpatched security flaws.

Generally, users of this method advise avoiding products that lack fixes for known security flaws, at least until a fix is available. Free software advocates strongly believe that this methodology is biased by counting more vulnerabilities for the free software systems, since their source code is accessible and their community is more forthcoming about what problems exist, [40] This is called "Security Through Disclosure" [41] and proprietary software systems can have undisclosed societal drawbacks, such as disenfranchising less fortunate would-be users of free programs.

As users can analyse and trace the source code, many more people with no commercial constraints can inspect the code and find bugs and loopholes than a corporation would find practicable. According to Richard Stallman, user access to the source code makes deploying free software with undesirable hidden spyware functionality far more difficult than for proprietary software.

Some quantitative studies have been done on the subject. In , OpenBSD started the first campaign against the use of binary blobs in kernels. Blobs are usually freely distributable device drivers for hardware from vendors that do not reveal driver source code to users or developers.

This restricts the users' freedom effectively to modify the software and distribute modified versions. Also, since the blobs are undocumented and may have bugs , they pose a security risk to any operating system whose kernel includes them.

The proclaimed aim of the campaign against blobs is to collect hardware documentation that allows developers to write free software drivers for that hardware, ultimately enabling all free operating systems to become or remain blob-free.

The issue of binary blobs in the Linux kernel and other device drivers motivated some developers in Ireland to launch gNewSense , a Linux based distribution with all the binary blobs removed.

The project received support from the Free Software Foundation and stimulated the creation, headed by the Free Software Foundation Latin America , of the Linux-libre kernel. Selling software under any free software licence is permissible, as is commercial use. This is true for licenses with or without copyleft. Since free software may be freely redistributed, it is generally available at little or no fee.

Free software business models are usually based on adding value such as customization, accompanying hardware, support, training, integration, or certification.

Fees are usually charged for distribution on compact discs and bootable USB drives, or for services of installing or maintaining the operation of free software. Development of large, commercially used free software is often funded by a combination of user donations, crowdfunding , corporate contributions, and tax money.

Proprietary software on the other hand tends to use a different business model, where a customer of the proprietary application pays a fee for a license to legally access and use it. This license may grant the customer the ability to configure some or no parts of the software themselves. Often some level of support is included in the purchase of proprietary software, but additional support services especially for enterprise applications are usually available for an additional fee.

Some proprietary software vendors will also customize software for a fee. The Free Software Foundation encourages selling free software.

As the Foundation has written, "distributing free software is an opportunity to raise funds for development. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated in that "open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source.

This requirement does not extend to other software from the same developer. The claim of incompatibility between commercial companies and Free Software is also a misunderstanding.

There are several large companies, e. Free software played a significant part in the development of the Internet, the World Wide Web and the infrastructure of dot-com companies. Companies that contribute to free software increase commercial innovation. Most companies in the software business include free software in their commercial products if the licenses allow that. Free software is generally available at no cost and can result in permanently lower TCO costs compared to proprietary software.

Free software often has no warranty, and more importantly, generally does not assign legal liability to anyone. However, warranties are permitted between any two parties upon the condition of the software and its usage. Such an agreement is made separately from the free software license. Raymond argues that the term free software is too ambiguous and intimidating for the business community.

Raymond promotes the term open-source software as a friendlier alternative for the business and corporate world. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Free software disambiguation. Not to be confused with Freeware. For a broader coverage of this topic, see Free software movement. Alternative terms for free software. The Free Software Definition. List of free and open-source software packages. History of free and open-source software. Business models for open-source software.

Of the world's five hundred fastest supercomputers , So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could. Free software portal Software portal. Free software lists and comparisons List of formerly proprietary software List of free software project directories List of free software for Web 2. Retrieved 26 March Retrieved 19 March Public-domain software is written by microcomputer hobbyists also known as "hackers" many of whom are professional programmers in their work life.

Open Source Software Law. Legal battles that shaped the computer industry. It is very efficient and reliable. Multiple drives can be mapped for group collaboration. Large organizations can maintain their existing user list and folder directory structure with our Active Directory Integration. Your users will not even know there has been a change! In , DriveHQ was founded as one of the first companies to offer online storage service.

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