Your example can empower users just like you to take important steps towards software freedom. Become an FSF associate member by Dec. 31st. Read more >
Take the next step to software freedom!
People around the world are realizing their responsibility to stand for user freedom against technological injustice. Now is the time to help each other move forward to full software freedom. Without free (as in freedom) software, we cannot and will not have a free society. Your membership will help us pave a way to #UserFreedom.
Join us today for $10/month ($5 for students) and help us reach our goal of 500 new associate members by December 31!
Read more
Log in Help! Members forum
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. We defend the rights of all software users.
Read this page in Spanish or in Italian.
As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our 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 free software movement is one of the most successful social movements to arise from computing culture, driven by a worldwide community of ethical programmers dedicated to the cause of freedom and sharing. But the ultimate success of the free software movement depends upon teaching our friends, neighbors and work colleagues about the danger of not having software freedom, about the danger of a society losing control over its computing.
Our Core Work

The FSF maintains historic articles covering free software philosophy and 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. We 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. We are 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. We hold these assets to defend free software from efforts to turn free software proprietary. Every year we collect thousands of copyright assignments from individual software developers and corporations working on free software. We register these copyrights with the US copyright office and enforce the license under which we distribute free software — typically the GNU General Public License. We do 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. We do this work through our 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 we 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). Read more about our free software licensing and related issues.
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. Find out more about our campaigns, and ways to volunteer.
The FSF also provides important resources to the community including the FSF/UNESCO free software directory.
Support Our Mission
The most important support you can give to free software is to use free software on your own computer and advocate within your business or community for others to adopt it. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter the Free Software Supporter to hear about ways you can get involved.
You can directly support our mission by donating or becoming a card carrying associate member of the Free Software Foundation.
Take Action!
LibrePlanet: Living Liberation will be held 19-20 March, 2022. Submit your session today!
About the FSF
What is free software?
FSF staff and board of directors
The role of the FSF's board of directors
Frequently asked questions about the FSF board
FSF interns
Licensing & Compliance Lab
Working Together for Free Software Fund
Contact Us
Press Information
FSF in Charity Navigator
FSF financial information
Sign up
Enter your email address to receive our monthly newsletter, the
Free Software Supporter
Life's better together when you avoid Windows 11
Oct 05, 2021
FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator
Oct 02, 2021
FSF announces JShelter browser add-on to combat threats from nonfree JavaScript
Sep 30, 2021
More news…
Recent blogs
Support the FSF through the GNU Press shop with great holiday picks
IDAD is almost here: Take a stand against Disney+ on December 10
LibrePlanet 2022 will be held March 19-20, CFS extended to December 15th
Help the FSF tech team maintain email services in freedom
Recent blogs -More…
Upcoming Events
International Day Against DRM (IDAD) - December 10, 2021
Dec 10, 2021 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM — Online
Previous events…
Upcoming events…
The FSF is a charity with a worldwide mission to advance software freedom — learn about our history and work.
Copyright © 2004-2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc. Privacy Policy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 license (or later version)Why this license?
Staff and Board
Contact Us
Press Information
Volunteering and Internships
Privacy Policy
JavaScript Licenses
Hardware Database
Free Software Directory
Free Software Resources
Copyright Infringement Notification
Freedom Ladder
Fight to Repair
Free JavaScript
High Priority Free Software Projects
Secure Boot vs Restricted Boot
Upgrade from Windows
Working Together for Free Software
GNU Operating System
Defective by Design
End Software Patents
Connect with free software users
Licensing FAQ
How to use GNU licenses
for your own software
Latest News
Upcoming Events
FSF Blogs
Donate to the FSF
Join the FSF
Associate Members
My Account
Working Together for Free Software Fund
The Free Software Definition
Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism
Free Software and Free Manuals
Selling Free Software
Motives for Writing Free Software
The Right To Read
Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software
Complete Sitemap
Send your feedback on our translations and new translations of pages to