What is free software?

"Free software" doesn't mean that you shouldn't have to pay for it, it means that you should be able to use the software in any way you wish: the code that makes up free software is available for anyone to download, change, fix, and use in any way. Alongside ideological benefits, this freedom also has technical advantages: when programs are developed, the hard work of others can be used and built upon. With non-free software, this cannot happen and when programs are developed, they have to start from scratch. For this reason the development of free software is fast, efficient and exciting!

You can find out more about free software and the ideological and technical philosophy behind it at
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/