Debian is free in this sense: You are free to modify and redistribute it and will always have access to the source code for this purpose. The Debian Free Software Guidelines describe in more detail exactly what is meant by ``free.'' The Free Software Foundation, originator of the GNU Project, is another excellent source of information. You can find a more detailed discussion of free software on the Debian web site. One of the most well-known works in this field is Richard M. Stallman's essay, Why Software Should Be Free; take a look at it for some insight into why we support Free Software as we do. Recently, some people have started calling Free Software ``Open Source Software''; the two terms are interchangable.
You may wonder why would people spend hours of their own time writing software and carefully packaging it, only to give it all away. The answers are as varied as the people who contribute.
Many believe in sharing information and having the freedom to c