GNU Emacs is free software; this means that everyone is free to use it and free to redistribute it on certain conditions. GNU Emacs is not in the public domain; it is copyrighted and there are restrictions on its distribution, but these restrictions are designed to permit everything that a good cooperating citizen would want to do. What is not allowed is to try to prevent others from further sharing any version of GNU Emacs that they might get from you. The precise conditions are found in the GNU General Public License that comes with Emacs and also appears following this section.
One way to get a copy of GNU Emacs is from someone else who has it. You need not ask for our permission to do so, or tell any one else; just copy it. If you have access to the Internet, you can get the latest distribution version of GNU Emacs by anonymous FTP; see the file `etc/FTP' in the Emacs distribution for more information.
You may also receive GNU Emacs when you buy a computer. Computer manufacturers are free to distribute copies on the same terms that apply to everyone else. These terms require them to give you the full sources, including whatever changes they may have made, and to permit you to redistribute the GNU Emacs received from them under the usual terms of the General Public License. In other words, the program must be free for you when you get it, not just free for the manufacturer.
You can also order copies of GNU Emacs from the Free Software Foundation, on various magnetic media or on CD-ROM. This is a convenient and reliable way to get a copy; it is also a good way to help fund our work. (The Foundation has always received most of its funds in this way.) An order form is included at the end of manuals printed by the Foundation. It is also included in the file `etc/ORDERS' in the Emacs distribution. For further information, write to
Free Software Foundation 59 Temple Place, Suite 330 Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA USA
The income from distribution fees goes to support the foundation's purpose: the development of new free software, and improvements to our existing programs including GNU Emacs.
If you find GNU Emacs useful, please send a donation to the Free Software Foundation to support our work. Donations to the Free Software Foundation are tax deductible. If you use GNU Emacs at your workplace, suggest that the company make a donation. If company policy is unsympathetic to the idea of donating to charity, you might instead suggest ordering a CD-ROM from the Foundation occasionally, or subscribing to periodic updates.
Contributors to GNU Emacs include Per Abrahamsen, Jay K. Adams, Joe Arceneaux, Boaz Ben-Zvi, Jim Blandy, Frank Bresz, Kevin Broadey, Vincent Broman, David M. Brown, Hans Chalupsky, Bob Chassell, James Clark, Mike Clarkson, Doug Cutting, Michael DeCorte, Gary Delp, Matthieu Devin, Scott Draves, Viktor Dukhovni, Rolf Ebert, Torbj@"orn Einarsson, Hans Henrik Eriksen, Michael Ernst, Ata Etemadi, Fred Fish, Karl Fogel, Noah Friedman, Keith Gabryelski, Kevin Gallagher, Kevin Gallo, Howard Gayle, Stephen Gildea, David Gillespie, Boris Goldowsky, Michael Gschwind, Henry Guillaume, Doug Gwyn, Chris Hanson, K. Shane Hartman, Markus Heritsch, Karl Heuer, Manabu Higashida, Anders Holst, Lars Ingebrigtsen, Andrew Innes, Michael K. Johnson, Kyle Jones, Brewster Kahle, David Kaufman, Henry Kautz, Howard Kaye, Michael Kifer, Richard King, Larry K. Kolodney, Robert Krawitz, Sebastian Kremer, Geoff Kuenning, David K@aa gedal, Daniel LaLiberte, Aaron Larson, James R. Larus, Lars Lindberg, Neil M. Mager, Ken Manheimer, Bill Mann, Brian Marick, Simon Marshall, Bengt Martensson, Charlie Martin, Thomas May, Roland McGrath, David Megginson, Richard Mlynarik, Keith Moore, Erik Naggum, Thomas Neumann, Mike Newton, Jurgen Nickelsen, Jeff Norden, Jeff Peck, Damon Anton Permezel, Tom Perrine, Daniel Pfeiffer, Fred Pierresteguy, Christian Plaunt, Francesco A. Potorti, Michael D. Prange, Ashwin Ram, Eric S. Raymond, Paul Reilly, Edward M. Reingold, Rob Riepel, Roland B. Roberts, John Robinson, William Rosenblatt, Guillermo J. Rozas, Wolfgang Rupprecht, James B. Salem, Masahiko Sato, William Schelter, Gregor Schmid, Michael Schmidt, Ronald S. Schnell, Philippe Schnoebelen, Stephen Schoef, Randal Schwartz, Mark Shapiro, Olin Shivers, Espen Skoglund, Rick Sladkey, Lynn Slater, Chris Smith, David Smith, William Sommerfeld, Ake Stenhoff, Jonathan Stigelman, Steve Strassman, Spencer Thomas, Jim Thompson, Masanobu Umeda, Geoffrey Voelker, Johan Vromans, Barry Warsaw, Morten Welinder, Joseph Brian Wells, Ed Wilkinson, Mike Williams, Steven A. Wood, Dale R. Worley, Felix S. T. Wu, Tom Wurgler, Eli Zaretskii, Jamie Zawinski, and Neal Ziring.
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