Is free software really free? Free as in free to use however the user wants? Or free as in free to distribute for no price? What does “free software” even mean?
The GNU Project says that free software gives the user the inherent right to “have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software”.
Bill Gates, on the other hand, says that this version of free software floods the market with faulty/bad software that was ripped off from companies that have spent tens of thousands of dollars to make the original software.
Now while I agree with Bill Gates in the aspect that the companies/professionals that spend so much time and effort should be rewarded/paid for their work, I also think that people should be able to change the software to fit their own needs, because the programmers couldn’t have thought every single thing that could have gone wrong with the program.
What I do think is unfair to the companies is that people share the software program, edited or not, for free, taking away from the profits of the people who worked on the program.
So where do I stand on this topic? I’m not sure. I think that it’s good that people are changing the program for their own needs, but I also think that companies should be able to gain something from their efforts.