The time period “freeware” has no clear accepted definition, however it’s commonly used for packages which enable redistribution however not modification . These packages aren’t free software, so please don’t use “freeware” to discuss with free software.
In the previous we subdivided nonfree software program into “semifree software,” which might be modified and redistributed noncommercially, and “proprietary software program,” which couldn’t be. But we have dropped that distinction and now use “proprietary software” 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 effectively cannot 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 staff of the Free Software Foundation, however most GNU software program comes from manyvolunteers. Most GNU software program is copylefted, however not all; however, all GNU software have to be free software. Since the aim of GNU is to be free, every single component in the GNU working system is free software.
They don’t all should be copylefted, nevertheless; any kind of free software program is legally appropriate to incorporate if it helps meet technical objectives. The GNU working system is the Unix-like working system, which is totally free software, that we within the GNU Project have developed since 1984. To equate free software with GPL-covered software is subsequently an error. Noncopylefted free software comes from the author with permission to redistribute and modify, and likewise to add additional restrictions to it. Many languages have two separate phrases for “free” as in freedom and “free” as in zero value. For instance, French has “libre” and “gratuit.” Not so English; there’s a word “gratis” that refers unambiguously to cost, however no common adjective that refers unambiguously to freedom.
We don’t insist that users of GNU, or contributors to GNU, should reside by this rule. But we hope you will observe it too, on your freedom’s sake. Proprietary software program is another name for nonfree software.