From The Founder Of The Gnu Project

Richard Stallman

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Top Stories by Richard Stallman

[Dee-Ann LeBlanc mused recently here at LinuxWorld.com on the vexed question of whether in the Linux community we are letting politics have too much sway over and above the technology. Here are Richard Stallman's thoughts on that same issue, just received...far from sharing this worry, on the contrary he is concerned that a narrow focus on technological developments "might distract our best activists from doing their best work..."  ] "Dear editors of LinuxWorld, When I read Ms LeBlanc's surprised reaction to the idea that "Linux" is about politics - initially negative, followed by an acknowledgment that it may have become so - I was struck above all by the irony. This operating system was launched to be about politics, starting with its announcement 20 years ago this month: Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system calle... (more)

Software & Patents: Stallman Declares "The Battle...Must Continue!"

Last year IBM took a significant step forward in cooperation with the free software community by offering blanket licenses for 500 of its patents to all free software developers. This does not cover all of IBM's software patents, which must number in the thousands. And there are other areas where IBM does not yet cooperate with the free software community -- they have not provided the necessary information to port a free BIOS to ThinkPads, for instance, and they are still pursuing Treacherous Computing. Nonetheless, this is a real step. Recently Sun made an announcement that supe... (more)

Java Viewpoint: Free But Shackled - The "Java Trap"

Headnote As of December 2006, Sun is in the middle of rereleasing its Java platform under the GNU GPL. When this license change is completed, we expect that Java will no longer be a trap. Nonetheless, the general issue described here will remain important, because any non-free library or programming platform can cause a similar problem. We must learn a lesson from the history of Java, so we can avoid other traps in the future. Please also see: The Javascript Trap •   •   • If your program is free software, it is basically ethical - but there is a trap you must be on guard for. ... (more)

The Free Software Community After 20 Years

While we have never released a complete GNU system suitable for production use, a variant of the GNU system is now used by tens of millions of people who mostly are not aware it is such. Free software does not mean "gratis"; it means that users are free to run the program, study the source code, change it, and redistribute it either with or without changes, either gratis or for a fee. My hope was that a free operating system would open a path to escape forever from the system of subjugation which is proprietary software. I had experienced the ugliness of the way of life that non... (more)

Software Licensing: "The GNU GPL Stood Up In Court," Says Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman writes: Maureen O'Gara's review in Linux Business Week of Larry Rosen's book misrepresents the Free Software Foundation's views, when it says we criticized Rosen for "recognizing...licenses other than the GPL". Recognizing other licenses as legitimate is entirely correct, and we have always recognized many other bona-fide free software licenses. See the Free Software Definition, http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html, and our license list, http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html. We do have some disagreements with the Open Source Initiative, because its ... (more)