I was hoping that you could clarify where the party stands in relation to Free Software (under the definition provided by http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).
A program is free software if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:
- The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
It’s important not to confuse this with open-source or free as in provided at no cost (gratis).
To quickly cover a few examples of non-free software
- OS X
- Flash Player
Common properties of non-free software
- Ability to remotely delete applications (eg. iOS/Kindle)
- Ability to remotely install updates (eg. Windows)
- Ability to aggregate mass data on users (eg. Google)
- Limiting the software that can be installed (eg. iOS)
- Inability to install modified/custom software on device (eg. iOS)
- Inability to resell/lend/gift purchases including ebooks and apps (eg. iOS, kindle, iTunes)
Basically, industry has slowly eroded users rights to own the products they buy. Not only are people unable to freely modify and customise their purchases, companies use digital handcuffs to limits a customers right their access and share their purchases. Essentially, people just lease access - their right to own what they buy is under siege.