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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2009 - issue > Technology

Why Free Software is the Key to Freedom

Rajiv Mathew
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Rajiv Mathew
A few weeks ago I was at a talk addressed by Richard Stallman and his thoughts had a profound impact on my thinking. I would like to share here some learnings and thoughts from his talk, regarding the free software movement and how vital it is for our society.

There are so many examples of thousands of proprietary tools that are backdoors for large corporate houses to gain control over our lives. Consider the Apple iPhone for instance. A developer from Apple can change anything he wants in the iPhone and the user doesn’t have to always agree. Hence, a user is placed at the mercy of the developer of that product. This proprietary software system has unjust power over individuals. By using these proprietary tools we grant more power to the proprietary software owners, which is not a good thing. The people who have unjust power seek to get total power. We need to learn to live in freedom and use software that respect our freedom.

4 Freedoms that are Key, as Outlined by Richard Stallman

* Freedom 0 is one that allows you to run software as you wish.
* Freedom 1 is where you have the right to study the source code & change it.
* Freedom 2 is where you can help your neighbor make copies and distribute them.
* Freedom 3 is where the software contributes to community, and copies of modified versions of the software are available for use.

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