Free Software Movement

In: Social Issues

Submitted By whisp
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A computer programmer named Richard Stallman started the Free Software Movement in the mid 1980’s; Stallman was an avid participant and part of the underground computer hacking and programming culture at MIT during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. When the hacker culture began to break up and move on to building software for the first personal computers many people who once worked together so closely began to hide the source code they were writing and started to copyright and put exclusive licenses and usage agreements in an effort to limit the copying, altering, and redistribution of the software. To combat this growing trend and Stallman started the GNU Project, which was a collection of free software that could be modified and changed to the users preferences and needs. Stallman’s initial goal was to “Put together a sufficient body of free software so that it will be able to “get along” software that is free. “
Currently the majority of software that is released into the consumer market is considered proprietary software, this means that the coding that runs the software is copywrighiten and cannot be changed, studied, or redistributed in any form. The main stand that Stallman and the Free Software Movement (FSM) take against this concept is they believe that once the software is purchased the end user should be able to change and modify the software as they wish, similar to the way in which after purchasing a car you are able to modify the car as you wish albeit possible voiding your warranty. The FSM believes that the coding of the software should be open source where it can be used studied and modified without restriction, they claim that the companies that have proprietary restrictions on their software are actually undermining the potential of the software. They also say that the companies would not see much a difference in their profits because the number…...

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