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Gavin Harrison

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Should software be free?

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms:

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

(above text taken from gnu.org)

I believe all software should give it's users those four freedoms.

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    Feb 17 2011: I have been in the "computers" business, as seller and as user, from 1980.

    There are some who made the most amazing software freely, for the pleasure of creating and the pleasure of letting know and be known. They did, some of them of course, as well or better then those who sold it for lot of money.

    The problem often was distribution.

    A software has to be known, used, and then entretained.

    Others, did "free software" inside a corporation. Bill Atkinson working at Apple gave from his free time, the Hypercard, so we can all program the Macintosh easy, free to use, easy to use, for the "rest of us". He gave it to Apple to distribute it freely, but alas did not look well into the loopwholes of contract and when they made a "new version" they begun to charge for it and the product, slowly died. And also, was no more well "made known" as the then director, Gasse, wanted to promote someone else software, which was not free.

    Personally, I would suggest, cheep software, to be distributed in a way that can give some recognition and money, perhaps new ways of "letting know" of their existence. As there are now blogs, complementing newspapers and tv, we could invent, if not yet existent also new ways of "making known".

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