The Reality Of Free Software Today

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The reality of free software today


Free software has long since stopped being marginal, to become a very common reality for many users. Even if they don’t know that they are using it, more and more users perform much of their computer tasks thanks to him. Either because they have it installed on their desktop computer or on their mobile, because it is intensively used by companies that give them services via web, or because they make their electronic devices work, free software is an ubiquitous reality


The concept of free software is fundamentally legal: it is a software with which certain kinds of things can be done, because its author gives permission to it. Before going into more details, it is convenient to remember that copyright in the case of software operates, in the face of end users, similar to how they work with literary or musical works. If you don’t have explicit permission from the program owner, you can’t do almost anything with him. Of course you cannot distribute copies of him. But you can’t, for example, modify it, not even to correct an error you have found. All who use non -free (private) software usually know this situation: if you want a program, you have to “buy it” (in reality, buy a use license). And when you have done it, you can use it as allowed by license, and little more.

In the case of free software, however, the owner of the program (usually who has done so) has a fairly different vision of what users should be able to do. Therefore, if you receive a free program, the author is allowing you to: you use it as you can see, you can study how it works, and modify it if you want, redistribute what you want, distribute modified copies, if you want these are the calls “Four freedoms ”of free software. These freedoms are reflected in the license that accompanies the program. In it, the author guarantees whoever receives the program that can exercise them. Therefore, basically, what defines whether a program is free or not this legal detail: that the license guarantees these freedoms.


From the point of view it is necessary to highlight the fact that there are certain markets, in which free software has become a natural option whose non -consideration is difficult to justify when studying what type of system use.

This software can be any type, either from operating systems that control the resources and the operation of the computer in a personalized way, to applications adaptable to the needs of users, video games and programs   

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