From Fedora Project Wiki

Why Free and Open Source Software?

Let's keep some arguments in favor of free and open source software here.

Cost versus Freedom

The Four Freedoms

Ability to Study Software

Ability to Run Software for Any Purpose

Ability to Modify Software

  • Not just software — translations too (you don't have to be a coder to participate!)

Ability to Distribute Modified Software

Business Reasons for FOSS

The philosophy of software freedom / free software is a big enough reason for many individuals to choose FOSS. Many believe that FOSS is important in its own right, and that the "four freedoms" mentioned here are reason enough to prefer FOSS.

However, businesses typically do not choose software for philosophical reasons - or at least not philosophical reasons alone. However, it turns out that FOSS has many practical advantages for businesses, developers, and operations folks. Indeed, one could argue that it was practical reasons that caused Richard Stallman to set out to promote software freedom in the first place. Had Stallman been able to print happily we might not have the GNU GPL today.