The [Free Software Foundation] (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman on October 4, 1985, to support the free software movement, a copyleft-based movement which aims to promote the universal freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs without restriction. The FSF is incorporated in Massachusetts.
From its founding until the mid-1990s, FSF's funds were mostly used to employ software developers to write free software for the GNU Project. The FSF also publishes the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), the most popular free software license.
Since the mid-1990s, the FSF's employees and volunteers have mostly worked on legal and structural issues for the free software movement and the free software community.
- the freedom to run the software for any purpose;
- the freedom to study how the software works through access to source code and to freely adapt
- the freedom to redistribute copies of the software to anyone; and
- the freedom to improve the software, and to redistribute those improvements to anyone.
- Free Software Foundation, "The Free Software Definition" (full-text).
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