The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the free software movement, a copyleft-based movement which aims to promote the universal freedom to distribute and modify computer software without restriction. The FSF is incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
As society grows more dependent on computers, the software that run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology they use in homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us. The Free Software Foundation exclusively uses free software to perform its work.
The Free Software Foundation is working to secure freedom for computer users by promoting the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation—particularly the GNU operating system—and by campaigning against threats to computer user freedom like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and software patents.
The FSF maintains historic articles covering free software philosophyand maintains the Free Software Definition—to show clearly what must be true about a particular software program for it to be considered free software.
The FSF sponsors the GNU project—the ongoing effort to provide a complete operating system licensed as free software. They also fund and promote important free software development and provide development systems for GNU software maintainers, including full email and shell services and mailing lists. FSF is committed to furthering the development of the GNU Operating System and enabling volunteers to easily contribute to that work, including sponsoring Savannah the source code repository and center for free software development.
The FSF holds copyright on a large proportion of the GNU operating system, and other free software. FSF holds these assets to defend free software from efforts to turn free software proprietary. Every year they collect thousands of copyright assignments from individual software developers and corporations working on free software. FSF register these copyrights with the US copyright office and enforce the license under which they distribute free software — typically the GNU General Public License. FSF does this to ensure that free software distributors respect their obligations to pass on the freedom to all users, to share, study and modify the code. FSF does this work through Free Software Licensing and Compliance Lab.
The FSF publishes the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), the world's most popular free software license, and the only license written with the express purpose of promoting and preserving software freedom. Other important licenses they publish include the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), the GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL) and the GNU Free Document License (GNU FDL).
The FSF campaigns for free software adoption and against proprietary software. Threats to free software include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), Software Patents and Treacherous Computing.
The FSF also provides important resources to the community including the FSF/UNESCO free software directory.
Where is Free Software Foundation (FSF)