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Free Software ============= source: Wikipedia Extract from the Introduction of the article Free Software Wikipedia contributors, "Free software," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Free_software&oldid=364138438 (accessed May 25, 2010). Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. *Free software*, *software libre* or *libre software* is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only 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. In practice, for software to be distributed as free software, the human-readable form of the program (the source code) must be made available to the recipient along with a notice granting the above permissions. Such a notice either is a "free software license", or a notice that the source code is released into the public domain. The free software movement was conceived in 1983 by Richard Stallman to satisfy the need for and to give the benefit of "software freedom" to computer users.[^1] Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to provide the organizational structure to advance his Free Software ideas. From 1998 onward, alternative terms for free software came into use. The most common are "software libre", "free and open source software" ("FOSS") and "free, libre and open source software" ("FLOSS"). The "Software Freedom Law Center" was founded in 2005 to protect and advance FLOSS.[^2] The antonym of free software is "proprietary software" or "non-free software". Commercial software may be either free software or proprietary software, contrary to a popular misconception that "commercial software" is a synonym for "proprietary software". (An example of commercial free software is Red Hat Linux.) [^1]: "GNU project Initial Announcement"(http://www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announcement.html). [^2]: "Software Freedom Law Center". http://www.softwarefreedom.org.