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02.29.20

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

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free Speech and Free software

Summary: 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

IN PART ONE, part two and the introduction along with recent posts from Alex [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] we can see that there’s definitely what some can describe as a “coup” — typically a political term. It is an armed and sometimes violent takeover, rarely unarmed or amicable (there’s a recent example in Bolivia).

“…we can see that there’s definitely what some can describe as a “coup” — typically a political term.”Alex is apparently (now or very recently) being accused of "inciting violence" or something along those lines — an implicit charge that tends to be made by gross exaggerations (as apparently happened at the OSI some days ago as well). We’re well familiar with such tactics. Remember that some joke from Linus Torvalds (about the physical size of Greg K-H) was spun as physical threat. Nothing could be further from the truth and we saw the European Patent Office (EPO) making similar accusations against the workers’ union.

But let’s leave all that aside and instead focus on today’s part and its key message. It’s about a committee that shall soon decide if Stallman can receive an award from the FSF now that he's formally eligible.

“Remember that some joke from Linus Torvalds (about the physical size of Greg K-H) was spun as physical threat.”This brings us back to LibrePlanet, which we mentioned yesterday (how it had attempted to control Stallman’s speech, based on numerous sources of ours). “I was told the program had been chosen to avoid being divisive with respect to Stallman,” we once heard. “Then the program was published, and people who presided over statements demanding the FSF to expel Stallman or celebrating his resignation are there, but someone who stood for Stallman isn’t.”

This is a bigger deal than it may sound.

“As a reminder, Bradley Kuhn whilst on the board pushed for Stallman to resign or be ousted.”Stallman, we’re told, “who got alone more nominations than all other nominees together for the FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software, has not been passed on to the award committee, because he was a board member for part of the year, but Bradley Kuhn, who remained a board member for a larger part of the year, was passed on to the committee and might/could well get the award if the board doesn’t take a stand to make things right. What an ugly and unfair mess!”

As a reminder, Bradley Kuhn whilst on the board pushed for Stallman to resign or be ousted. It was on his firm’s Web site. Yes, we call it “firm” because that’s what it is. And we learned from reliable sources that Kuhn was the author. It was a strongly-worded statement against Stallman.

If the FSF gives an award to an anti-Stallman person, what further damage can be caused to the FSF? Like they’re rewarding someone for ousting their very founder!

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