02.28.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) – Part II: The Majority of the Board Supports Richard Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 5:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free Speech and Free software

Summary: It seems to have become somewhat fashionable separating high-profile projects and institutions from their founders; at the FSF, thankfully (at least for now), the founder still has a foothold

IN PART ONE and the introduction we highlighted a number of things we had heard from numerous sources and had experienced ourselves even before Alex started writing about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Alex is not associated with Techrights, but some of the things he wrote over the past week resemble stories we occasionally hear. Last year we wrote a number of stories about censorship at LibrePlanet. Even back then Stallman was being silenced or threatened somewhat (even months before what some in the Free software community call “Free software 9/11″). Rejecting one’s founder? The OSI has just done that too. As for the Linux Foundation, we’re being told that Torvalds (Linux founder) is “sexist” or “rude” and therefore he should have no control over his own project (let Microsoft, Oracle and others control it through their foundation).

“People who oppose corporate takeovers are being spun as racist, sexist and so on.”LibrePlanet was a sign of things to come. This year the conference offers corporate sponsors “thank yous” (it's in the brochure) and there’s understandably some anger. There’s a perception that control is being passed (of the FSF and by extension GNU) from the founder to corporations which exploit the work. It’s being "sold" to the public as a matter of "ethics" as if there’s something inherently moral about for-profit corporations. Even those that predominantly profit from non-free software…

People who oppose corporate takeovers are being spun as racist, sexist and so on. This strategy isn’t novel or unprecedented. If they happen to be right wing-leaning, then tough luck — in all likelihood they also fit such labeling and get banned without appeal rights. No need to even take anything out of context, only to go further and further back in time (ask Mr. Eich why he’s no longer Mozilla’s CEO).

Months ago J. Gay from “Defective By Design” (DBD) fame, among other FSF campaigns, routinely came to our IRC channels, which are publicly logged (no secrets necessary there). Seeing his stance on Stallman and a variety of other topics, I began to get a clearer picture and a better understanding of what had been happening and who was pushing for what outcome (and why). This series is based on a large number of discussions and conversations. It will be based only on facts, not hearsay.

“Based on our understanding — and again without mentioning any names — the Board of the FSF is still mostly trustworthy. Mostly.”It does not seem like anyone at the higher ranks of the FSF genuinely hates Stallman, although that much can be said about former people and ‘lower-level’ people. We’ll try to name nobody. It would be counter-productive to make it seem personal.

Based on our understanding — and again without mentioning any names — the Board of the FSF is still mostly trustworthy. Mostly.

“It’s not that the board is compromised,” one person noted. There’s only one or at most two people there who strive to have an FSF without Stallman (without even his mentioning), wrongly believing that he is more of a liability than an asset.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  2. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  3. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  4. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  6. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  7. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  8. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  9. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  11. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  12. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  13. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  14. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  15. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  16. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  17. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  18. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  19. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  20. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  21. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  22. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  24. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  25. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  26. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  27. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  28. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  29. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  30. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)


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