Subject: Re: What they can do with "their" software
To: None <>
From: Richard Stallman <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 09/11/1994 04:30:54
Free software refers to three specific freedoms users should have:

* The freedom to help themselves, by fixing and adapting the software
they use.

* The freedom to help their friends, by distributing copies of

* The freedom to help the community, by making improvements and
passing them on.

The GPL guarantees these freedoms to each user by preventing middlemen
from stripping the freedom away from the software.

As a practical matter, the typical user of a GNU program has more
freedom than the typical user of a BSD system.  The typical user of a
GNU program has these three freedoms, because the GPL guarantees them.

The typical user of a BSD system, or X Windows, does NOT have these
three freedoms.  He has a proprietary program with no more freedom
than Microsoft or IBM or Apple would give him.