11.12.20

Just-Released Footage of Dr. Richard Stallman (RMS): Open Source People “Treated Me Like Shit”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Interview, OSI, Videos at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This Richard Stallman video from 2001 was released earlier this week; in it, Stallman explains what the Open Source ‘movement’ did to him just a few years earlier (and then there’s some more stuff like his speech about DMCA and less related stuff in between because it’s raw and uncut)

Previously in this series: Newly-Published Richard Stallman Video From 2001, Where He is Explaining “Open Source” 3 Years After OSI Was Established | New Video Release by Marcia K. Wilbur: Richard Stallman (RMS) and Larry Lessig

10.15.20

Linus Torvalds on GNU When His Ego Was Still Smaller

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel, Videos at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Source video (clipped from 1:26 onward, raw bits from Revolution OS, the documentary film)

Summary: More than two decades ago the creator of Linux explained the relation/connection of his project to GNU (which predates his project by almost a whole decade and also inspired him); nowadays he pretends GNU barely exists and the Linux Foundation pretends that GNU is just some part of Linux

THE Linux Foundation has just sold another keynote to Microsoft. It was advertised in a press release earlier this week. We suppose that this so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation fails to recognise Microsoft’s role in derailment of Linux, just because Microsoft now pays this self-acclaimed ‘Linux’ Foundation…

“They are, in effect, offering GNU training, but they call it “Linux”.”Not so shockingly, the ‘Linux’ Foundation nowadays loves Microsoft more than it cares for GNU. Microsoft pays. Unlike the FSF. Earlier today I spent two hours going through “LinuxFoundationX LFS101x – Introduction to Linux” — an online course that’s perhaps the most popular among the Foundation’s courses. I went through about 400 pages (lots of time spent on this!) only to find that this course is misnamed because it is mostly about GNU utilities and non-Linux stuff; I checked all the pages there (18 chapters in total, including pictures and videos). More GNU than Linux in there! They are, in effect, offering GNU training, but they call it “Linux”. They also add revisionism (like it all started in 1991) to the mix… and top that off with chapters about programming, networking and other stuff that in no way relates to Linux (not directly, anyway). They focus on systemd and GNOME, acknowledging openly that there’s a controversy around/surrounding systemd being favoured.

Here’s a screenshot with some annotation (chapter 15):

LinuxFoundationX LFS101x cropped

Two decades ago (slightly more) when Linus Torvalds participated in the making of Revolution OS — as did ESR, RMS, Michael Tiemann and Larry Augustin (now working for Jeff Bezos) — he made the above statement. It’s raw in the sense that questions are heard; it’s not quite the same as the film. The above is Fair Use, as per the following statement (attached to the original).

Linus Torvalds talks about Linux and GNU/Linux. Selected clips from Revolution OS.

Copyright 2001 Wonderview Productions

Note: This video may only be used for purposes such as criticism, review, private study, scholarship, or research.

What’s noteworthy about this section of the video is that back then (late 1990s) Torvalds still publicly acknowledged — however hesitantly and begrudgingly — the importance of GNU, the GPL, and the FSF. The Foundation called (or misnamed) “Linux” has worked really hard to purge all 3 from history, sometimes even under the veil/guise of ‘training’ (with exams, scores and digital certificates). Training people to recite falsehoods…

09.25.20

Richard Stallman: New Interview About Privacy (Published This Morning)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Interview at 1:58 am by Guest Editorial Team

Summary: “The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement,” RT says

09.12.20

Richard Stallman Still Works to Improve the Freedom of the Widely-Used RasPi (Produced in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Interview at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New video from/with Mr. RasPi, Eben Upton

Summary: “As of December 2019, more than thirty million [Raspberry Pi] boards have been sold,” according to Wikipedia and Richard Stallman (RMS) is working to make them more freedom-respecting; Eben Upton takes his advice to heart, making the vision of FSF hardware endorsements (RYF) seem increasingly fruitful and promising

THE “RMS RULES”, as Mr. Raspberry Pi has put it, are being taken seriously as blobs are gradually being removed from new generations of Raspberry Pi (the original was released 8 years ago). A Raspberry Pi computer is currently being used to monitor Techrights and issue visual alerts (with lights and sounds) in case of critical issues/downtimes.

“A Raspberry Pi computer is currently being used to monitor Techrights and issue visual alerts (with lights and sounds) in case of issues/downtimes.”RMS might not be publicly visible anymore (there are very few videos of him from 2020, COVID partly to blame), but he’s still active by E-mail and other means. I speak to him on occasions. Word on the street is (to borrow slang/idiom), he’s waiting for the right moment to make a comeback. He’ll be back (not just as GNU’s head but also public speaker and so on). Don’t strike him out as “retired”, as some have, as he’s extremely active — albeit not in the public eye — for a person in so-called ‘retirement’. His ‘cancellation’ last year failed to complete (he’s in charge of GNU) and it was based on distortions, lies and deception (even internally, inside the FSF).

When I last met RMS in person (a long time ago) I suggested to him that hardware vendors should add a physical switch to laptops’ microphones. He took my suggestion seriously. He’s definitely picky or extremely selective in whose advice he accepts, but people whom he trusts he can be exceptionally amicable and attentive to. The world around him is generally hostile towards him because he thinks for himself and disagrees with many aspects of the status quo. Like Linus Torvalds (awful to compare those two men, I’m well aware) he’s not shy or reluctant to say outrageous things provided they’re factually accurate. That’s what typically gets both of them in trouble. We ought to protect both persons’ freedom of speech. Otherwise the 'speech police' will work to oppress all of us — by extrapolation so to speak — by targeting perceived leaders or influencers, even if just to “set an example…” (deterrence)

The Free software movement (extension of the ‘hacker culture’) was established not to obey authority but to disobey corporate power, question abuse (or misuse) of power, and liberate geeks from financial rulers.

09.01.20

Richard Stallman Explains Why Open Source Misses the Point and “is Not Enough”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Interview, OSI, Videos at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Note: We’re still working on a migration back to WebM/Ogg (default)

Summary: Ignoring the weak English in the above subtitles, this is a public appearance in which GNU’s founder explained why “Open Source” missed the point (that’s Bruce Perens sitting beside him)

08.28.20

“Guy Who Started and Still Maintains Linux” (But Not Managing It Anymore)

Posted in Interview, Kernel, Videos at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2015:

Summary: With the Linux Foundation making all the big decisions (like outsourcing the lion’s share of projects to Microsoft’s proprietary software, GitHub) Torvalds has a lowered sense of ego

“My name is Linus, and I am your God.” –Linus Torvalds (a very long time ago)

Tim Berners-Lee and W3C come to mind as well.

08.27.20

Linus Torvalds Explains Copyleft (Which Linux Foundation Increasingly Opposes)

Posted in Interview, Kernel, Videos at 4:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(Source video here, clip spanning 8m:20s – 9m:10s)

Summary: As we noted some days ago, the Linux Foundation‘s hostility towards copyleft and GPL enforcement goes against the licence of Linux and preference of its founder (which this foundation (mis)uses for its name, in order to attract/secure a lot of money for itself, much like the FSFE)

08.18.20

Daniel Wallace Explains Why He Challenged the GPL (Copyleft) in Court

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interview, Law at 10:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman’s last interview as FSF president

Summary: Almost 15 years ago Daniel Wallace alleged that copyleft (or GPL specifically) was problematic and contravened federal antitrust laws; he lost the case and now he explains to us why he pursued that misguided litigation campaign

OVER the past few days we’ve been studying the GPL challenge that was widely discussed a decade and a half ago after Daniel Wallace, about 60 at the time, had alleged that it was an antitrust violation. He even took it to court. As Wikipedia put it:

Wallace v. International Business Machines Corp., 467 F.3d 1104 (7th Cir. 2006), was a significant case in the development of free software. The case decided, at the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, that in United States law the GNU General Public License (GPL) did not contravene federal antitrust laws.

Daniel Wallace, a United States citizen, sued the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for price fixing. In a later lawsuit, he unsuccessfully sued IBM, Novell, and Red Hat. Wallace claimed that free Linux prevented him from making a profit from selling his own operating system.

We found the current contact details of Mr. Wallace and Ryan, who comes from the same state where Wallace resides, did eventually call him. That was yesterday. “He said it was long in the past and that he was planning to develop a product based on BSD,” Ryan reported. “He wouldn’t go further than that. He just said he’s 74 now and it’s long in the past. He chose not to proceed because he was representing himself pro se and that it would have bankrupted him had he continued to appeal.”

When we started exploring this we wondered aloud who might have funded or ‘bankrolled’ the lawsuit.

“When we started exploring this we wondered aloud who might have funded or ‘bankrolled’ the lawsuit.”“He said it was just his opinion that the GPL doesn’t “hold water” legally,” Ryan continued, “and that giving software away and charging for services prevents others from making competitive products.”

Did Microsoft have anything to do with this (like the SCO lawsuit)? “Doesn’t pass the “sniff test” for Microsoft,” Ryan said, “I think it’s just someone who wanted to knock over copyleft because they had some idea for a product that couldn’t compete. He seemed to not like Red Hat very much. He said that it was dishonest to give the software out for free and charge for services. The court kept saying that he failed to articulate an antitrust argument. They let him amend his complaint 4 times before they threw it out.”

Groklaw wrote a lot about it at the time. Sadly, some Groklaw pages are no longer accessible.

“Groklaw wrote a lot about it at the time. Sadly, some Groklaw pages are no longer accessible.”“He seemed to be under the impression that the GPL requires software to be free of charge,” Ryan said. “It doesn’t. It just makes it hard to sell because someone could take the same source code and come up with a different version. He said he got hit with huge costs for the legal costs incurred by FSF and the three companies (IBM, RH, Novell).”

“Although,” Ryan continued, “he accidentally contributed something to the GPL. Instead of knocking it down, he gave us case law that it provides direct benefits to the market, as decided by the trial judge, and a three judge panel voting unanimously at the Seventh Circuit appeals court. Which can be cited if someone else is ever hit with antitrust complaints regarding a Free Software License. I’d say that Daniel Wallace’s demeanor was more shocked that someone wanted to talk to him and evasive, but definitely kind of blindsided that someone would poke around at that after 15 years.”

It’s never too late to start pursuing answers and clarify.

“He said he was looking into some product based on BSD but wouldn’t elaborate,” Ryan summarised. “I mean, there are small tech companies in the Indianapolis area, so it’s certainly possible that he wanted to make a server offering or a network product, where FreeBSD was competitive with Linux at the time, mostly.”

“In reality, what Microsoft is doing — licence-wise — is far closer to a violation of antitrust law.”“He has very strong opinions that the GPL is illegal under copyright law. He kept saying things like “I couldn’t attack it using copyright law, so I went after it with antitrust law.”.”

As Wikipedia put it: “On May 16, 2006, Judge Richard L. Young dismissed the case with prejudice: “Wallace has had two chances to amend his complaint [...]. His continuing failure to state an antitrust claim indicates that the complaint has “inherent internal flaws.” [...] Wallace will not be granted further leave to file an amended complaint because the court finds that such amendment would be futile.”

In reality, what Microsoft is doing — licence-wise — is far closer to a violation of antitrust law. IBM, Novell, and Red Hat collaborating in the open, or sharing code, isn’t anywhere as problematic as what Microsoft does.

“No less than Bill Gates himself said in a recent Fortune article that Microsoft competes better against Linux in China when there’s piracy than when there isn’t.

“So, Microsoft actively looks the other way as people pirate its software. It builds its market share that way, and lets people get used to the idea of having Windows at a certain price.”

ECT

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