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

11.09.19

An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 11:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Gear on neutral

Summary: “It’s past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral.”

Hello again, we spoke a few weeks ago.

This is just a letter about the people willing to stand up for you, and for your inclusion in the very movement you started. We already know that you were treated unfairly. Some of us were actually warning people this could happen even before it did — the LibrePlanet letter was a pretty big hint to a few of us.

I’ve told people that you want them to stay with the FSF, and why you don’t want them to leave but that it’s better to make certain they continue to promote the core ideals of Free software. That’s what the FSF should be doing. Unfortunately, the FSF is not very good at listening to its members. The way it is structured, (according to someone who used to work for the FSF) an associate membership does not give anybody much influence or ability to hold the FSF accountable. I know this first hand, I was a member years ago.

For what it’s worth, I agree with you on people staying. I don’t believe the FSF is likely to get better if all the pro-Free software, pro-Stallman people leave. And if the FSF were ever to let members influence it more, it would be important for it to do that much differently than OSI did.

“We already know that you were treated unfairly. Some of us were actually warning people this could happen even before it did — the LibrePlanet letter was a pretty big hint to a few of us.”In the past 10 years, OSI became even more subservient to monopolies than it was to begin with. There was an effort to make OSI more open to members — I don’t think that’s a terrible idea, but I think there are a greater number of problematic ways to accomplish that task than beneficial ways. For the FSF to care what members think, to the point where they ever had the ability to change anything, would be perilous to Free software if it were done the wrong way.

More organisations are forming now, most of them with smaller missions than the FSF’s mission. There are things the FSF can’t afford to focus on, such as education, that other organisations can. There is one organisation, Free Software Force, whose primary mission appears to be defending you. I applaud this, but I will be pushing them to do more than just talk about you. I think they are most interested in promoting Free software along the lines that you did — I think that’s a good idea for an organisation.

I’m personally concerned about how many mainstream free projects are currently hosted on Github. Getting these projects away from the clutches of the most Free software-antagonistic company there is, seems like a good idea. This is a company that puts backdoors in its own software. Given their penchant for spyware (telemetry) and the precedent of SourceForge adding spyware to their repos, I don’t like thinking about the future of Github unless there are more people willing to move away from it. Along with the Linux Foundation, Github is bringing all sorts of projects closer to the Microsoft mothership. This doesn’t bode well.

“Along with the Linux Foundation, Github is bringing all sorts of projects closer to the Microsoft mothership. This doesn’t bode well.”The main reason I have for writing you however, is to tell you that in many different ways an unofficial Free software organisation is developing. I don’t mean any of the new organisations, I don’t necessarily even mean the “Free Software Federation” but there is a very broad community with supporters everywhere. I don’t expect you to find them all and talk to everyone, but I recommend you try talking to them. To some degree you do already.

With or without the FSF, and preferably with of course, I recommend you start talking with more of these people as soon as it’s possible to do so. Some of them can act as liaisons, or ambassadors, to help get things between you and everybody else.

This is an unofficial way of doing things, but the fact that this sort of meta-community welcomes you just as much now as before is relevant. Instead of one leader there are several, but what these people have in common is recognition of the fact that you founded the Free software movement, and thus are a key figure — one extremely important to what they do. I’ve spoken with several of these people and some of them are more supportive of you than I realised. Dyne.org for example, is one organisation that has put out an official statement in support of you.

“Dyne.org for example, is one organisation that has put out an official statement in support of you.”My feeling is that you do not wish to retire. If you do, you’re certainly entitled to it. But if you don’t, these are people who will help keep you informed and who you can help keep informed, and who you can rely on to carry your ideas even further. I realise you can do a lot of this on your own, and I realise (and I’m grateful) that you still have supporters in your own organisation. By no means is any of this exclusive or intended to stand in place of that.

I guess what I’m saying is, we won’t let you retire until you’re ready to do so. Most of us can’t afford to fly you around the world, but we do live around the world, and we are eager to continue helping Free software succeed.

Whatever you choose to do next, I hope you will consider this. And I hope we will all hear much more from you in the future.

The reasons for the silence from the FSF are publicly known, but it has stretched out too long. There is no benefit left to this ongoing silence, it is just as pointless for the FSF to keep the lights out like this as it is for them to have an Internet outage. It’s past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  2. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  3. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  4. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  5. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  6. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms



  7. Epitaph for (Death of) Patent-Centric Media: Litigation Giant Bird & Bird Nowadays Doing Ads as 'Podcasts' in Think Tank Site 'Managing IP'

    Publishers don't hesitate and openly revel in taking bribes as if it's a badge of honour or importance, allowing themselves to be profoundly corrupted in pursuit of quick cash; we discuss what's happening in sites that pretend to cover patent news (but actually drive agenda of litigation giants, to the detriment of actual innovators)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 19, 2020



  9. Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

    Links for the day



  10. Video: Free Communication With Free Software - Daniel Pocock - FOSSASIA Summit 2016

    The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)



  11. [Meme] Microsoft Downtime... Now in 'Linux' (Wait a Month for Microsoft to Restore Uptime)

    Microsoft’s utter failure that is "WSL2" is bringing the failures Windows is so notorious for (loss of work, lack of security, fatal patches) to so-called ‘Linux’; the timeframe for a fix says a lot about just how much Microsoft “loves” Linux…



  12. Coming Soon: Microsoft Leaks (Which Microsoft Pressured Medium to Suppress and Promptly Unpublish)

    Microsoft is no ordinary company; exposing it is like dealing with the Mafia or some drug cartel in Mexico, but we're able to publish truths about Microsoft nonetheless (their notorious intimidation and silencing attempts have always failed against us)



  13. Dishonest Corporations -- Like Smug Politicians -- Pretend to be Something They're Not

    Corporate lies dominate the media, having been crafted by unethical marketing departments with their photo ops and hashtags



  14. GNU is Also a Brand, But It Boils Down to Philosophy and Principles, Not Greed or Corporate Identity

    Why the goal of GNU should be freedom rather than so-called 'world domination' (the objective of large firms with shareholders)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 18, 2020



  16. Links 19/9/2020: Taiwins 0.2 and a Call for Ubuntu Community Council Nominations

    Links for the day



  17. One Year Later Richard Stallman Needs to be Un-cancelled and Attention Turned to the Real Perpetrator of MIT Scandals

    The sheer hypocrisy, treating Stallman as the real nuisance to MIT when it was in fact Bill Gates who trafficked money through convicted sex criminals (to MIT); justice needs to be belatedly restored



  18. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section Isn't About Linux But About Microsoft

    ZDNet's so-called 'Linux' section isn't really about GNU/Linux; it's just the site's usual Microsoft propaganda, bought and paid for by Microsoft



  19. Debian's Network of Gossip and Gossipmongering in Debian-Private

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  20. More EPO Disclosures: An Explanation of How an EPO Survey Plots to Dismantle the EPO's Staff

    Dismantling the Office for the benefit of a bunch of private companies (taking over various duties of EPO staff) seems like the management's goal; included in image form (and text) below is today's publication. There's a PDF with text (not OCR) but it contains metadata.



  21. Forced Confessions and Thought Control in Debian

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  22. [Meme] You Cannot Elect/Vote Corporations Out of Power (Eternal Vigilance is Required)

    Based on early polls, Biden will be president-elect in about a month and a half; but it’s important to remember that the election (if honoured by the current tenant of the White House) won’t be the end of corporate abuse of power in the same sense that driving Microsoft out of business won’t miraculously mean that Free software ‘won’ (we have a lot more to confront still)



  23. Debian Volunteers Disallowed and Forbidden From Talking About Politics (Unlike Debian's Aristocracy That Handles All the Money From Sponsors)

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  24. Political Compass for Free Software (and Those Who Attack Software Freedom)

    With RMS (the father of the movement) betrayed from multiple angles (OSI, Linux Foundation etc.) it’s probably important to depict what’s going on, quasi-politically speaking



  25. Richard Stallman Has Not Changed His Tune at All

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) principled views regarding software go back to the days of zeroes and ones; his position 35 years ago was almost indistinguishable from today's position



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 17, 2020



  27. Keith Packard: Richard Stallman Was Right (About the GPL)

    A 2020 video (before lock-downs) from the brain behind X11 and various lesser-known projects



  28. The Quandary of 'Ethical' Sponsors and One's Ability to Criticise Them (Otherwise It's a Potential Bribe in Exchange for Censorship of Critics)

    When Free software advocacy groups are indebted to companies that greatly harm people's freedom (including privacy) we have to ask ourselves questions regarding morality and ethics because money isn't inherently evil, it depends who or where it comes from (on what implicit conditions)



  29. When Attempting to Run for Debian Project Leader (DPL), Only to Realise the Process is Rigged (and Censored) to Protect Past Leaders

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  30. [Meme] Linux Foundation Does Not Represent Linux Users

    With only one truly technical person inside the Linux Foundation Board (it got a lot worse in 2020) it seems safe to call it 95%+ corporate gerrymandering with no signs of improving any time soon; it’s all about letting hostile corporations change Linux rather than allowing Linux to change the world


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