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10.07.19

We Welcome Richard Stallman, Again

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 12:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A publication from the Free Media Alliance

I’ve created a monster
Cause nobody downloads GNU anymore
They want Linux
I’m chopped liver

Well if you want Linux,
This is what I’ll give ya
A little GCC
And the GNU Debugger

- Slim Stallman

They want Linux cause nobody downloads GNU anymore

Summary: “The Free software Federation is not an organisation, it is a collective term.”

Today is a day for Free software and playful cleverness.

There was a time, when Free software was a grassroots movement. Do you remember those days? They’re coming again.

People are going to make it happen, and are already making it happen.

Without a vote, without permission, without even firing the old guard and indeed, right under their noses, comes:

The Free software Federation

Now, this will probably run afoul of trademark issues sooner or later. And that’s not important, because the name is not the idea. The idea is what’s important.

So why even call it the Free software Federation?

Two reasons:

1. Because that’s what it is.

2. Because that’s what (other) people are already calling it.

The people calling this thing the Free software Federation did not authorise the name, they gave it the name. If and when they are required to do so, they will give it some other name.

But this is a federation that has existed for a while, it just didn’t get very much publicity. That’s about to change.

The Free software Federation is not an organisation, it is a collective term.

Who runs the Federation? The groups that belong to it.

The FSF runs the FSF.

SFC speaks for SFC.

The Association For User Freedom… doesn’t even exist yet, but we look forward to them joining us.

And to the Free software Force, Hi! You may have more supporters than you realise.

Speaking of supporters, Hello Richard! Here is your small army of coders and advocates. We never left you. Don’t worry, many of us support the FSF getting back up and running again as soon as possible.

We are calling for you to return to the board, where you belong!

But here’s a question for the GNUisance and GNUFather: what if FSF failed? What if it fell? A lot of us are very upset, and some of don’t think you can any more remove Stallman from Free software than you can remove Einstein from Relativity.

So the Free software Federation is a page that defines it as “a de facto group of organisations and institutions that advocate for Free software.”

In a sense, this is not so much a definition as commentary on what already exists.

We are here, and so are you. And we are just as real as the groups on this list.

These are the groups who stand for Free software. The list is growing.

Yes, the FSF is among them. In fact it is by far the most established Free software organisation of all time. Through years of smears and mischaracterisation, the FSF has stood the test of time.

We hope it will continue to do so — better with you, than without you.

But should it fall, we don’t wish for there to be “nothing” in its place.

Many years ago, the United States government went to the largest telco and offered them an opportunity.

Revamp your network, so that it doesn’t have a single point of failure.

The telco balked, but the internet was built anyway.

That telco is still around today. But so is the Internet.

And so now you have the FSF, and — you have the Free software Federation.

Maybe you think this is crazy, and maybe you want nothing to do with this. The only problem of course, is that the Federation is:

“a de facto group of organisations and institutions that advocate for Free software.”

And you sir, are most certainly an institution. None of this existed without you, and it still exists because of you.

When I first talked about this, I was thinking of a phrase. When I talked to someone in particular about this, they echoed that phrase though I had not said it.

That phrase, was “playful cleverness.”

Long Live rms, and Happy Hacking.

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