From The Founder Of The Gnu Project

Richard Stallman

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Top Stories by Richard Stallman

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-free software imposes on its users, and I was determined to escape and give others a way to escape. Non-free software carries with it an antisocial system that prohibits cooperation and community. You are typically unable to see the source code; you cannot tell what nasty tricks, or what foo... (more)

Linux, GNU, and freedom

(LinuxWorld) -- Since Joe Barr's article criticized my dealings with SIGLINUX, I would like to set the record straight about what actually occurred, and state my reasons. When SIGLINUX invited me to speak, it was a "Linux User Group"; that is, a group for users of the GNU/Linux system which calls the whole system "Linux". So I replied politely that if they'd like someone from the GNU Project to give a speech for them, they ought to treat the GNU Project right, and call the system "GNU/Linux". The system is a variant of GNU, and the GNU Project is its principal developer, so soci... (more)

Richard Stallman: The Free Software Movement *Is* Politics

[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... (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)

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)