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From The Founder Of The Gnu Project

Richard Stallman

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Top Stories by Richard Stallman

Last July 6, the free-software community and programmers everywhere awaited a showdown in the European parliament over software patents. The outcome was far from predictable. If we, the free-software proponents, had lost, it would have been a final defeat in Europe. The relevant part of the European commission works hand in glove with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), and a BSA lawyer actually wrote much of the text of the draft directive the commission proposed. (We know this because they were so foolish as to publish it as a Word file, which contained information about who wrote what.) Most of the national governments voted in favour of software patents at the council of ministers - some in disregard of the explicit instructions of their own parliaments. Some governments ceded to threats from mega-corporations. Danish newspapers reported in 2004 that Microsoft ... (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 Corrects Misunderstandings of the GPL

Don Rosenberg's review in LWM (Vol. 3, issue 4) of Larry Rosen's book, Open Source Licensing, did double-duty as a platform for FUD about the GNU GPL. The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL for short) was not the first free software license, but was the first to embody the concept of "copyleft": the requirement that all modified and extended versions of the program be free under the same license. The GPL was designed to use copyright law to defend to the utmost all users' freedom to copy and change software; since copyright law says one must get permission to use a work, either i... (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)

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)