This nonprofit organisation was founded in 1983 and promotes the distribution of a particular kind of free software – programs with freely modifiable source code. In other words, they help and encourage the publication of Open Sourse Software or OSS. The Massachusetts-based company supports a particular operating system called GNU and system tools which are all available under their licence. The FSF’s main licence is called General Public License or GPL.
Technipages Explains Free Software Foundation (FSF)
The FSF’s main purpose is to provide access to software tools, programs and code elements for public use, without restriction on what can and can’t be modified. They also encourage users who do modify their code to keep it free – software published under the GPL and then modified should once again be published under the GPL license, rather than being paid. GPL-licensed software can be copied, modified and distributed completely freely.
As part of their work, the Unix-compatible GNU system served as the basis for some major milestones – the GNU project itself has been running since 1978 and is at its essence a mass collaboration project. The GNU project – arguably the FSF’s largest body of work – is made up of many different parts and pieces of software. In addition to the operating system itself, there are also other programs which are arranged in packages for users to download, use or modify.
There are dozens upon dozens of these packages and new ones are added constantly. From a shogi program to image manipulation software, there is no shortage of functionality and a huge variety of software that is open-source.
Common Uses of Free Software Foundation (FSF)
- The FSF was founded by MIT-student Richard Stallman.
- The distribution and maintenance of GNU software is the Free Software Foundation’s main purpose.
- The FSF provides the public GNU license that many developers publish their software under.
Common Misuses of Free Software Foundation (FSF)
- The Free Software Foundation makes paid software available for free.