About Software Freedom Day & FOSS

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software. SFD is a public education effort with the aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.

Software Freedom Day was established in 2004 and was first observed on 28 August of that year. About 12 teams participated in the first Software Freedom Day. Since 2006 Software Freedom Day has been held on the third Saturday of September.

Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) is computer software that can be classified as both free software and open source software. That is, anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. This is in contrast to proprietary software, where the software is under restrictive copyright and the source code is hidden from the users, so that the rights holders (the software publishers) can sell binary executables.

The benefits of using FOSS include decreasing software costs, increasing security and stability (especially in regards to malware), protecting privacy, and giving users more control over their own hardware. Free, open-source operating systems such as Linux and Ubuntu are widely utilized today, powering millions of servers, desktops, smartphones (e.g. Google Android), and other devices. Free software licenses and open-source licenses are used by many software packages. The affordability and viability of FOSS tools have important economic and social impacts especially in third world countries like the India.