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Free Software Movement

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Free Software vs. Software Piracy

The Free Software Movement is an example of an emergent movement with anarchist characteristics. The nature of the GPL and many other free licenses is such that there is a collective sharing of resources (in this case, source code) between all developers, thus putting into practice the theories behind anarcho-socialists' perspective on private property and economic organization.

Though it can be said that it put in principle of anarcho-capitalism in practice. It can also be considered a classical example of perfect competition in a free market economy.


Richard Stallman, the founder of Free Software Foundation and the originator of GNU Project, puts these 4 rights as the requirenment for for the software project to be considered "free software":

  1. Right to use software for any purpose.
  2. Right to distribute the software in the same way as it was received.
  3. Right to alter the software to fit make it fit your particular needs.
  4. Right to distribute the altered version of the software.

Due to the fact that these rules might apply differently to different people, what is a free software for one group, might not be a free software for another. For example if a corporation hires another company to develop a system, that will most probably be a free software for the perspective of that corporation (they can use it, alter it, distribute it, etc). However, for the workers within that corporation it is not free software, since they aren't allowed to alter or distribute it.

Also free software can be made non-free. An examlple of that is Mac OS X (non-free) which is designed on top of the BSD core (free). The reason for that is the fact that BSD license is non-restrictive, in the way that it allows anybody to make software proprietary as long as they say that it is based upon another system.

See also[edit]

This article incorporates text from An Anarchist FAQ [1] @-faq
This article contains content from Wikipedia. Current versions of the GNU FDL article Free Software Movement on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article WP