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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)

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)

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)