EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


History of FSF and Free Software Matters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 3:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

History of Greece

Summary: Remarks on Richard Stallman, whose signature now emphasises that he founded the FSF and probably belongs back in its board

List of important Pro-Stallman, Pro-Free Software points to maintain at this time:

1. Everything that has happened up to this point is history — in the sense that history should be preserved and retold, that it contains invaluable lessons for the present and future. We can’t let history be rewritten — and we should learn and teach more about the history of Free software.

(Note, I find it disgusting the way Open Source has year after year tried to paint his contributions as something relevant to the past only — as a way of shoving him out of a metaphorical door, and advocate doing precisely the opposite.)

2. Stallman built all of this. Sure he had lots of help — Every large endeavour is about more than one person. Physics is about more than Einstein. But Einstein changed physics with the theory of relativity and Stallman changed computing with Free software. Apart from simply having integrity, the importance of recognising this as well as point 1, is that it preserves very important lessons about Software Freedom. You can’t preserve history and let credit-stealers speak over the people who deserve the real thanks. Because they will only mislead people.

3. Calling the operating system GNU — I tell people (whether they are unsympathic or not) that when people call it GNU, this is a good sign they care about your freedom. When they call the OS “Linux” this is not a good sign — I’ve personally found this holds true as often as not, it’s a good rule.

4. Supporting the FSF is important for several reasons, including holding them to the mission of Free software, keeping up the ratio of Stallman supporters involved, maintaining the Free Software Directory and other valuable infrastructure, as well as their legal team and maintenance of Free software licenses. Some people think it would be better to replace the FSF outright; these are some of the reasons that it would be better to keep the FSF going.

5. RYF is a valuable programme that should continue as well.

6. Copyleft is the reason that many important Free software projects succeed. Open Source aggressively pushes permissive licensing, even for projects that are important which will suffer from such licensing. The FSF recommends a copyleft license such as the GPL (generally speaking, the GPL) for any source over 300 lines.

7. We should defend Free software advocates, particularly Stallman, from any untrue and unfair statements to smear him.

8. Although it is important to preserve Stallman’s legacy, he still has contributions to make and we should make certain he has a vehicle (a metaphorical home, online and in terms of an organisation) for those contributions at all times. A real, literal home is also important of course, but a home in the sense that the FSF was a home is something we should continue to provide. Whatever community standards we keep, they should not exclude RMS.

9. It may take time, but Bruce Perens was able to return to the OSI board after leaving, and we should be certain to get Stallman reinstated to the FSF board at an ideal time in the not-too-distant future. It is one thing to step down as President — the board is greatly diminished without him and he should have never left the board without great protest and great effort to retain his seat regardless of circumstances. His resignation from the board should not have even been accepted. (I’m not the only person to say this.)

10. There are other points that will prove equally important, but this is a good place to start. Although the importance of Stallman’s work deserves acknowledgement and many of us admire him greatly, none of this is solely about paying tribute, or solely about admiration or respect. In addition to being about respect, these are importantly all points relevant and key to future strategies regarding Free software. We need to build the future on a solid foundation, and Stallman’s work and advocacy is the most solid foundation we could build the future on. So it is not just important to Stallman and to fairness — it is equally important to everything we do regarding Free software.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part III: Imagining an FSF Award Going to Anti-Stallman People

    The next FSF award may be given to Richard Stallman himself; but it might also be given to a person largely responsible for 'ousting' Stallman, which would be catastrophic

  2. How OSI Co-Founder Got Banned From the OSI's Mailing Lists (a Month After the Other Co-Founder Resigned in Protest in Those Mailing Lists, Bemoaning Attacks on Software Freedom)

    This post is not an endorsement of the message; its purpose is to show what was censored and let people decide for themselves if that merited a ban

  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 28, 2020

  4. Alexandre Oliva Against Bullying and Violence

    I was ready to come to a close of this series, but an urgent request I got takes priority over the last planned post in the series, now postponed

  5. Links 28/2/2020: Qt 5.15 Beta, UBports/Unity8 Now Lomiri, GCC 8.4 Release Candidate

    Links for the day

  6. Richard Stallman is Now Eligible for the FSF's Award

    To counter the impression that FSF leadership distances itself from the FSF's founder it can publicly display a healthy and cordial relationship with GNU's chief

  7. People Who Oppose Stallman Can be Rude and They Pick on People Who Merely Defend Stallman's Role at FSF

    Earlier this week I wrote about aggressive reactions I receive for my articles; here's one of them (minutes old)

  8. 3 Founders Out in 5 Months

    With OSI's co-founders both out (not long after the start of this year), as well as the founder of the FSF, one must ask who's left to lead the fight against proprietary software injustices

  9. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part II: The Majority of the Board Supports Richard Stallman

    It seems to have become somewhat fashionable separating high-profile projects and institutions from their founders; at the FSF, thankfully (at least for now), the founder still has a foothold

  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 27, 2020

  11. EUIPO and EPO Celebrate Corruption in Croatia

    The EPO returns to its corrupt roots of the Battistelli era even in the form of photo ops

  12. Death of the UPC (Unitary Patent) Confirmed by the British Government

    The lies about the UPC are repeatedly being called out as UPC disarray is confirmed by the spokesperson of Prime Minister Boris Johnson

  13. A Month After One OSI Co-Founder Resigns in the Mailing Lists Over OSI's Attacks on Software Freedom the Other OSI Co-Founder Gets Kicked Out for Speaking About It

    The 'cancel culture' seems to be canceling people who speak about software freedom, under the guise of the real motivation being manners (when one lashes out at those who attack Free software and free speech)

  14. Links 27/2/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.1, Collabora Office for Phones and Latte Dock 0.9.9

    Links for the day

  15. The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use 'Big Browsers' That Spy)

    The Linux Foundation's message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness

  16. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part I: Year Zero

    People behind the ousting of Richard Stallman (or 'leaders of the coup' as some call them) want a fresh start; but they aren't starting what most FSF supporters have been led to believe

  17. Alexandre Oliva on Diversity Hypocrites

    "Some of them purport to be for inclusion and diversity, but won't hesitate to make fun of someone's poorly-disguised handicap."

  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 26, 2020

  19. Alexandre Oliva: Courage is Contagious

    Having a proposal rejected at a conference is nothing unusual, but the surrounding circumstances and the conflicting versions are.

  20. Links 26/2/2020: Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1, FSF Outlines Plans for Code Hosting

    Links for the day

  21. Reminder: At Linux Foundation in 2020 Three Board Members, Including the Vice Chair and Director at Large, Are Current or Past Microsoft Employees

    Sometimes the facts speak for themselves (or pictures speak louder than words)

  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 25, 2020

  23. Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

    Links for the day

  24. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

    Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it's not so simple.

  25. The EU's EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO's Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

    Propaganda terms such as "intellectual property rights" and meaningless concepts like "technical effect" are being used to promote so-called 'computer-implemented inventions' (software patents by another name)

  26. Growing Acceptance That There's No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

    There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC

  27. Emulating the Linux Foundation's Business Model (Selling Influence)

    LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)

  28. Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

    What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”

  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 24, 2020

  30. An FSF That Rejects Its Founder Would Not Remain FSF As We Once Knew It

    It's important to keep the FSF focused on its goals; that won't be achieved by expelling those who insist on these goals

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts