What is Free Software?

Free software is software that gives you the user the freedom to share, study and modify it. We call this free software because the user is free.

To use free software is to make a political and ethical choice asserting the right to learn, and share what we learn with others. Free software has become the foundation of a learning society where we share our knowledge in a way that others can build upon and enjoy.

Currently, many people use proprietary software that denies users these freedoms and benefits. If we make a copy and give it to a friend, if we try to figure out how the program works, if we put a copy on more than one of our own computers in our own home, we could be caught and fined or put in jail. That’s what’s in the fine print of the license agreement you accept when using proprietary software. The corporations behind proprietary software will often spy on your activities and restrict you from sharing with others. And because our computers have access to so much of our personal information and daily activities, proprietary software represents an unacceptable danger to a free society.

Piwik is Free Software

For Piwik, the “free” in “free software” is used primarily in reference to freedom and not to price – although Piwik is free of charge. The most important thing about Piwik is not that it is available free of charge, but that it confers rights of software freedom on the people who install and use it. It is those freedoms that enable the Piwik community to grow, sharing its collective experience and expertise to improve Piwik.

Quoting the Free Software Foundation’s “What is Free Software”, the freedoms at the core of free software such as Piwik are defined as:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others.
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that everyone benefits.

Free software has been a coherent social movement for more than two decades. This movement has produced millions of lines of code, documentation, and a vibrant community of which Piwik is proud to be a part.

Libraries Packaged with Piwik

Piwik uses many other great libraries written in PHP (Twig, PclZip, Tcpdf, pChart, PEAR, Zend, cssmin, jsmin, sparkline, PEAR, etc.) and in JavaScript (jquery, Jqplot, json2, sprintf, jquery plugins, etc).

These libraries are Free/Libre and open source software. A list of libraries used by Piwik and their respective licenses can be found in the file LEGALNOTICE

Related FAQs and Docs

You may be interested in the following FAQs:

Free Software Foundation

Don’t you wish all software came with these freedoms? So do we!

The FSF advocates for free software ideals as outlined in the Free Software Definition, works for the adoption of free software and free media formats and organizes activist campaigns against threats to user freedoms such as Windows 7, Apple’s iPhone and OS X, DRM on ebooks and movies, and software patents.

Piwik.org is a proud member of the FSF.

[FSF Associate Member]

Piwik integrates with other free softwares

Piwik also integrates with most of the popular free/libre web publishing platforms, web framework and ecommerce shops. Click on the image to learn more!