05.11.21

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Last Night’s Talk by Richard Stallman About Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RMS support

These numbers continue to climb every day

Summary: An inspiring new talk reminds many of us why loads of people continue to support the founder of the Free Software Movement

I and others who work on Techrights enjoyed last night’s talk by RMS (Richard M. Stallman). In fact, we’re trying to get a copy of a static file of the talk, part of which was his TED talk, a very concise talk he gave half a decade ago. RMS spoke about new threats to our freedom and more such threats were named in the Q&A session.

“…it’s clear that “Linux” doesn’t stand for or defend your freedom. RMS and the FSF do. Let’s talk about GNU and software freedom while the brand “Linux” loses its lustre (in pursuit of money alone).”RMS (or the FSF) used BBB, which is Free software and worked very well for me (I heard the same from others). There were discussions in IRC. Those were very positive. No trolls. RMS adopted a gentler tone than the usual. He’s sympathetic and empathetic. He’s not blasting anybody, he makes recommendations.

Along the way there was that typical RMS answering his landline while giving a talk (he’s not reluctant to come across as nonconformist, or as some might put it, “eccentric”). Moreover, on a couple of occasions he mentioned stallmansupport.org (latest updates here), which is a site that likes our work in Techrights (and thanked us several times).

The support network for the FSF’s good work seems to be growing. It certainly feels that way. An attack on RMS by a bunch of monopolists (or people who don’t even use Free software themselves, as RMS pointed out) made him more of a martyr in the eyes of many. In IRC, for example, several times I saw folks from Iran expressing love and admiration for RMS’s work. Remember what Microsoft did to those people… as we put it last year, "People From Half a Dozen Countries May be Banned From Participating in the Linux Foundation Because It’s Outsourcing Many Projects to Microsoft/GitHub". Speaking of the Linux Foundation (LF), it’s flailing if not failing. It has no idea whatsoever what its goals are, except maybe cashing in on the “Linux” brand. That’s all they do there. Openwashing services for large corporations…

Signatures removedAs someone told me a few days ago (someone who saw it from the inside), “I do find it ironic that most of the office staff at LF use Macs though…”

Those are the same people who partly coordinated the deplatforming of RMS. In the anti-RMS letter, it ought to be noted, the latest changes are all just removals of signatures (example to the right; I’ve heard from some who are listed among those signatures and still wish to be removed, albeit without attracting too much attention).

To better understand what we’re dealing with, consider yesterday’s post from “Linux Foundation Editorial Director,” who is a person from Microsoft… one who has tried to cancel RMS for well over a decade (we covered that several times back then).

What I found more interesting, however, was this barrage of puff pieces yesterday, all linked to LF operatives (with massive Microsoft ads all over the place). Basically, LF is redefining surveillance — not encryption — as “E2E”. This pollutes and greatly harms the Linux brand. It stands for the opposite of freedom and justice. Here’s the original press release and copies of it [1, 2]. As we noted yesterday, the LF “is greenwashing and then promoting a new line of deception: now they call mass surveillance “end to end”. In their terminology, mass theft of our data by Pentagon-funded espionage companies is “confidential computing”. Stop abusing the brand Linux. You’re killing it or milking it to death.”

Last week they even went astray in the direction of agriculture (no kidding) and as recently as yesterday we still saw puff pieces about it in sites that advertise, at least habitually, for the LF. Based on this and some prior examples, LF is engaging in brand dilution. Maybe stop saying “Linux” altogether and just go with “LF” all the time. Stop mistaking one thing with the agenda of openwashing.

The reason we bring up the latter is, it’s clear that “Linux” doesn’t stand for or defend your freedom. RMS and the FSF do. Let’s talk about GNU and software freedom while the brand “Linux” loses its lustre (in pursuit of money alone).

GNU/Linux turns 38

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