free software

Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and that can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients have the same rights under which it was obtained and that manufacturers of consumer products incorporating free software provide the software as source code.

The word free in the term free software refers to freedom (liberty) and is not at all related to monetary cost. The Free Software Foundation advises people to "avoid using terms like 'give away' or 'for free,' because those terms imply that the issue is about price, not freedom." Free software is generally available without charge but is not bound to such a restriction.

See definition at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

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