The Free Software movement ( FSM ) or free/open-source software movement ( FOSSM ) or free/libre open-source software movement ( FLOSSM ) is a social movement with the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms for software users, namely the freedom to run the software, to study and change the software, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. Although drawing on traditions and philosophies among members of the 1970s hacker culture and academia, Richard Stallman formally founded the movement in 1983 by launching the GNU Project Stallman later established the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to support the movement.
The philosophy of the movement is that the use of computers should not lead to people being prevented from cooperating with each other. In practice, this means rejecting “Proprietary Software”, which imposes such restrictions, and promoting , with the ultimate goal of liberating everyone in cyberspace – that is, every computer user. Stallman notes that this action will promote rather than hinder the progression of technology, since “it means that much wasteful duplication of system programming effort will be avoided. This effort can go instead into advancing the state of the art”.
- Writing and spreading free software
- Building awareness
- Ethical equality