Free software needs your vote!
Everyone who uses free software or interacts with a web server running
free software benefits tangibly from the Four Freedoms. But at the
level of just using the software, the benefits may seem no different
from using a piece of proprietary software that does its job well. The
Four Freedoms seem to be of value mostly to tinkerers and developers,
who can actually understand and make use of the source code.
At the Free Software Foundation, we want to empower *all* computer
users everywhere to do everything they might need or want to do on any
computer, using only free software, without having to ask permission.
Why should nonprogrammer computer users demand that all software be
free? Why should they insist on access to source code that they won't
modify? Why should they avoid anything that can't be freely shared?
The mere existence of the *option* for people to inspect, modify, and
share the software they use has an important effect which, if it
became the norm, would cause a dramatic change in the behavior of
software companies, and the character of software.
Think about the right to vote. Everyone does not have to vote in every
election in order for voting rights to have an impact on the behavior
of elected officials. Politicians know that there is the *potential*
for all eligible people to vote one way or the other, and they have to
We don't want everyone in the world to be a programmer, or to even be
interested in computers. For a lot of people, computers are simply a
tool they need to do other important work. But we do want everyone to
care about their freedoms as a computer user, and to understand why
the freedom of modern societies depends on them caring.