Essays and Articles
This page lists a series of articles describing the philosophy of the
free software movement, which is the motivation for our development of
the free software operating system GNU.
keep a list of
that Work for Freedom in
Computer Development and Electronic Communications.
About Free Software
Free software is a matter of freedom: people should be free to use
software in all the ways that are socially useful. Software differs
from material objects—such as chairs, sandwiches, and
gasoline—in that it can be copied and changed much more easily.
These possibilities make software as useful as it is; we believe
software users should be able to make use of them.
About the GNU Operating System
Licensing Free Software
Laws and Issues
Digital Restrictions Management
- Giving the Software
Field Protection from Patents
- FSF's Position on W3
Consortium “Royalty-Free” Patent Policy
- Opposing The European
Software Patent Directive, a slightly modified version of the
article, originally published in
The Guardian of London by Richard
Stallman and Nick Hill.
- How to Protect the Right
to Write Software (independent of whether it's free or not)
Felten v. RIAA, scientists are asking a court to rule that the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not prohibit them from
publishing their research.
“Intellectual Property”: MPAA (Motion Picture Association of
America) DVD Cases Archive
Reform Is Not Enough
- Saving Europe from
- Boycott Amazon!
- Sequential Innovation, Patents, and
Imitation is a paper that presents a mathematical model showing
how patents can impede progress in fields like software.
- Harm from the Hague.
Soft sell. An article by Richard M. Stallman published in
Patent absurdity, an article by Richard M. Stallman published in
- The Anatomy of a
Trivial Patent, by Richard M. Stallman.
- Why there are no GIF files on GNU web pages, While this
story is a historical illustration of the danger of software patents, these particular
patents are now no longer a concern. For details of our website policies regarding GIFs, see our web web guidelines.
Cultural and Social Issues
- Clearly established
cases of proprietary software that does nasty things to the
Bug Nobody is Allowed to Understand, By Richard Stallman.
- The Curious
Incident of Sun in the Night-Time, by Richard M. Stallman.
- SCO, GNU, and
Linux, by Richard Stallman, discusses how SCO's lawsuit against
IBM pertains to the work of the GNU project. Please see
the FSF SCO Response Page for
more details on this subject.
- FSF's Statement in
Response to Proposed Revised Final Judgment in Microsoft vs. United
States, submitted to the US Department of Justice under the Tunney
- U.S. Congress Threatens
to Establish a New Kind of Monopoly, an attempt of the Congress
to create a private monopoly over repeating publicly known
- The Right Way to Tax DAT
- Censoring My
Software, by Richard
Art vs Funding Software, by Richard
Terminology and Definitions
Upholding Software Freedom
Links to more philosophy articles