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The term ``free software'' is sometimes misunderstood -- it has nothing to do with price. It is about freedom. Here, therefore, is the definition of free software. A program is free software, for you, a particular user, if:
Since ``free'' refers to freedom, not to price, there is no contradiction between selling copies and free software. In fact, the freedom to sell copies is crucial: collections of free software sold on CD-ROMs are important for the community, and selling them is an important way to raise funds for free software development. Therefore, a program that people are not free to include on these collections is not free software.
Because of the ambiguity of ``free,'' people have long looked for alternatives, but no one has found a suitable alternative. The English language has more words and nuances than any other, but it lacks a simple, unambiguous word that means ``free,'' as in freedom -- ``unfettered'' being the word that comes closest in meaning. Such alternatives as ``liberated,'' ``freedom,'' and ``open'' have either the wrong meaning or some other disadvantage.