Yes, Linux is a free operating system that you can download for free from literally hundreds of places
. But there is a very common, and threatening, way people think about Linux. You can get, use and distribute Linux for free...so many people get the idea that the software should also be free.
GNU does not mean "I give this to all and ask nothing in return"...
This is the thinking that contributed (partially) to the death of Loki games (that and a very very poor business model, and an owner that didn't pay his employees). Granted, Loki probably would of gone out of business if everyone bought their products. But there are many other companies that are making a profit by making Linux software.
is a company that sells a couple versions of Wine
to allow Windows applications to run on Linux (from Shockwave to MSOffice), for a small fee.
is another company that works with a modified version of Wine
to support the DirectX applications mostly used in games. They ask for a small monthly fee in return for official binary releases (which include the 'secret copy protection' schemes for most games, which can not be distributed freely), monthly voting to point Transgaming in the direction most of their subscribers wish them to go and online support.
also distributes their source code openly via CVS, this is constantly updated and sometimes breaks as it is mostly untested. They allow anyone to download, use and modify this as they wish.
is an application that allows you to install and run an entire Operating System in a virtual environment on any platform. With VMware you can run Windows in a window on your KDE desktop...or even via versa.
Along with many other applications, this additional software is not free. Because the OS is free does not mean everything is free, it means you are free to use it how you like, or not at all. These companies are not run by some Average Joes from their basement, but are full companies with offices, cars, houses, bills, expenses and families. They work for their money just like everyone else.
DO NOT insult these people by stealing their software
! Getting these pieces of software from a P2P network or a copy from your friend is not only morally wrong, but you are stealing from the people that created it for you.
Show your support and purchase the software you use, donate to those that distribute it for free and for the love of Linux...buy your distro and pay the hard working kernel hackers and coders the money they deserve for their hard work!
BTW...free beer tastes like crap, why do you think it's free?