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The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards


Free software is increasing its presence in mainstream media and in debates among IT professionals, but it is still unknown for many people. And even those who are familiar with it lack specific knowledge in some important areas.

What is free software? What are the implications of using a free license? How are free software projects organised? Which are the main business models associated to them? What motivates developers, especially volunteers, to become involved in free software projects? Who are these developers? These are the sort of questions that we will try to answer in this course.

Learning Outcomes

  • The fundamental and introductory aspects of Free Software
  • The main Open Standard formats for different types of contents
  • The history of free software
  • The legal aspects of free software
  • About the communities of developers of free software
  • The business models and economic aspects related to free software
  • The legal and operational aspects of the use of free software
  • The important factors to establish systems of free software in the public sector
  • The procedures and methodologies of software engineering
  • The development environments and technologies
  • The most important free software systems and other free resources

Teaching Staff

See the FTA tutors page.

Academic Requirements

There are no specific requirements for this course as is a general introduction to Free Sofware and Open Standards


If you want to enroll into this course, please follow the instructions in the main Courses page.


Book cover

Introduction to Free Software

  • Authors: Jesús M. González-Barahona, Joaquín Seoane Pascual, Gregorio Robles
  • Coordinators: Jordi Mas Hernández, David Megías Jiménez
  • Licenses: GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons Attribute ShareAlike License
  • Information: 291 Pages; 3.2Mb