""" Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software
by Richard Stallman
The terms “free software” and “open source” stand for almost the same range of programs. However, they say deeply different things about those programs, based on different values. The free software movement campaigns for freedom for the users of computing; it is a movement for freedom and justice. By contrast, the open source idea values mainly practical advantage and does not campaign for principles. This is why we do not agree with open source, and do not use that term.
When we call software “free,” we mean that it respects the users' essential >>15684
freedoms: the freedom to run it, to study and change it, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of “free speech,” not “free beer.”
These freedoms are vitally important. They are essential, not just for the individual users' sake, but for society as a whole because they promote social solidarity—that is, sharing and cooperation. They become even more important as our culture and life activities are increasingly digitized. In a world of digital sounds, images, and words, free software becomes increasingly essential for freedom in general.
The nontrivial case is harmful and important. Many products containing computers check signatures on their executable programs to block users from effectively using different executables; only one privileged company can make executables that can run in the device and use its full capabilities. We call these devices “tyrants,” and the practice is called “tivoization” after the product (Tivo) where we first saw it. Even if the executable is made from free source code, and nominally carries a free license, the users cannot usefully run modified versions of it, so the executable is de-facto nonfree.
Many Android products contain nonfree tivoized executables of Linux, even though its source code is under GNU GPL version 2. (We designed GNU GPL version 3 to prohibit this practice; too bad Linux did not adopt it.) These executables, made from source code that is open source and free, are generally spoken of as “openPost too long. Click here to view the full text.