We don’t insist that customers of GNU, or contributors to GNU, need to reside by this rule. But we hope you’ll comply with it too, in your freedom’s sake. Proprietary software program is one other name for nonfree software.
In the past we subdivided nonfree software program into “semifree software program,” which might be modified and redistributed noncommercially, and “proprietary software,” which couldn’t be. But we’ve dropped that distinction and now use “proprietary software program” as synonymous with nonfree software program. Its use, redistribution or modification is prohibited, or requires you to ask for permission, or is restricted so much that you simply successfully can’t do it freely. The FSF doesn’t accept copyright assignments of software that’s not an official GNU bundle, as a rule. Some GNU software program was written by workers of the Free Software Foundation, however most GNU software program comes from manyvolunteers. Most GNU software is copylefted, however not all; however, all GNU software program should be free software program. Since the aim of GNU is to be free, every single element within the GNU working system is free software.
They do not all need to be copylefted, nonetheless; any kind of free software is legally appropriate to include if it helps meet technical targets. The GNU operating system is the Unix-like working system, which is completely free software, that we within the GNU Project have developed since 1984. To equate free software with GPL-coated software is therefore an error. Noncopylefted free software comes from the creator with permission to redistribute and modify, and likewise to add further restrictions to it. Many languages have two separate phrases for “free” as in freedom and “free” as in zero worth. For instance, French has “libre” and “gratuit.” Not so English; there’s a word “free of charge” that refers unambiguously to cost, however no widespread adjective that refers unambiguously to freedom.
The time period “freeware” has no clear accepted definition, however it is generally used for packages which permit redistribution however not modification . These packages usually are not free software, so please don’t use “freeware” to check with free software.