Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An uptick this past day or two, with the hate letter only going downwards this past month (this is barely visible in the graph due to the scale of the support letter, soon to exceed 6,700 signatures)

RMS letters
The curve at the bottom is actually moving down

Summary: The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)

THE LESSON of the notorious letter, as we noted on Wednesday morning, is that when you base a petition on a lie people will sooner or later wake up and walk away.

“The Free Software Movement will survive this. We have a much more powerful message than the lies of corporate operatives.”The news has been admittedly slow, so Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols decided to use ZDNet to suddenly resurrect ‘news’ (not really) from last month and earlier today, perhaps due to ZDNet, It’s FOSS did the same.

Win 98 CDWe’ve decided to replot the graph (shown above), based on the latest figures. We’ve meanwhile set up a Wiki page about the GNOME Foundation, which has long been plotting a coup against the FSF (the announcement from Stallman was merely used as an excuse or a ‘trigger’; they personify things to go ad hominem), looking to also distort the meaning of Free software.

The Free Software Movement will survive this. We have a much more powerful message than the lies of corporate operatives.

Phony ‘Scandals’ From Phony ‘News’ Site ZDNet

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet

THE latest nonsense from the so-called ‘cancel mob’ has landed in LXer (second from the top of the front page at the time of writing), so a rebuttal is probably worthwhile, even if it’s almost an hour long. As we said a few days ago, “The Coup Against Free Software is Not Over” because the coup plotters try to pick up the pieces and resume the slanderous attacks. They try to divide people by misleading to them, outright lying to them (read "The Practice of Ritual Defamation"). Then they wonder why their employers are increasingly distrusted if not loathed.

“The way things stand, we can expect the likes of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and Bully de Blanc to keep on throwing punches…”Geoffrey Knauth, the FSF’s president, is in good terms with Dr. Stallman and the GNU Project has just shown signs of health. The FSF’s Board is bigger than (or as big as) it has been in years (since 2019) with Ian Kelling added and it must be very frustrating to the coup plotters, funded by the likes of Microsoft and IBM, that the FSF is even more pro-Stallman than it was before the attacks. Oh, how badly this whole thing backfired!

The way things stand, we can expect the likes of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and Bully de Blanc to keep on throwing punches (well, Bully has said nothing in about a month, except once; it’s like she vanished in the defunct GNOME Foundation). The tantrums and hissy fits of monopolists with bipolar disorder.


It’s Not About Richard Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


First they came for the Founder

And I did not speak out
Because I was not an FSF employee

Then they came for the GPL
And I did not speak out
Because I was not into copyleft, let alone a coder

Let's wrestle with the community. Take them down to our level...Then they came for the activists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not among their targets

Then they came for the community
And I did not speak out
Because I was salaried by IBM

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me


6,600 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman and a Decreasing Number of Haters

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All the mob does at the moment is removal of signatures of people who no longer wish to be associated with the mob

Connected to Microsoft and salaried by IBM

6,600 signatures in support of Richard Stallman

Summary: As the screenshot above shows, the milestone of 6,600 has just been reached. The graph below barely shows it, but the curve in blue actually moves downwards over time. The person who still manages the defamatory hate letter is connected to Microsoft and salaried by IBM. Interests intersect sometimes. The international community backs the FSF.

6,600 signatures for RMS


Dr. Richard Stallman on How He Judges News Stories

Posted in Deception, FSF, Interview at 7:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Originally published 9 years ago

Direct download as Ogg (12:12, 4.8 MB)

Summary: Relevant bit of an old interview series with Richard Stallman (2012)

Dr. Roy Schestowitz: How do you judge the reliability of a news source and which one or ones do you favour?

Richard StallmanDr. Richard Stallman: Well, how do I judge the reliability? To a large extent I look at the story, and I try to judge based on the other things I know whether this looks like it’s bullshit or possible truth. Because there are news sources that I know often slant things, but that doesn’t mean that I think that their statements of facts would wrong, because I expect that they would be caught if were wrong. I don’t know of any news sources that I could say “that’s a good one”, because they all have their positions, they all want to say some things and not others. The question is, does it seem plausible that they would say falsehoods about facts? Because there is some embarrassment involved in getting caught in saying… in giving some news that wasn’t true.

Many places are not likely to say things that are just false, but they may draw conclusions that don’t really follow, or that reflect bias.

As embedded (HTML5):

Keywords: softwarepatents uspto monopoly gpl gplnext gnu fsf richardstallman


Ogg Theora


Testimonies, Letters, Writings, and More About Richard Stallman

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD at 11:02 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Published on April 27, 2021. Reproduced with permission.

As we keep working on this website, we are getting feedback from readers who send us their own writings and testimonies, or point us to writings by other people. We are grateful to all of them for their contributions. We can’t publish all of the materials, but here are some.

Professional Interaction with Richard Stallman #professional

by Andy Farnell – March 2021

Attackers of Prof. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and GNU project, accuse him of “unprofessionalism.” My experience has been different. I recently had reason to speak with Richard Stallman while researching a new book, as I needed to interview an authority on the subject of “Software Freedom.” Of course, this is my personal experience over a short time. Some people say that he is difficult to get along with, but here’s why I feel any labelling of Stallman as “unprofessional” is undeserved.

As I hit send on an email to Richard Stallman, a person famed for “being weird,” I sighed with resignation at the fact it would likely go unanswered. Five seconds later a reply appeared. Obviously it was an automated response, including some boilerplate addressed to any NSA agents enjoying our conversation. Weird, yes! Check one! But in good humour. Were I an NSA worker it would cause no offence and make me smile. His email was polite, concise, informative and sensible. It explained Richard’s workflow for processing mail and when I might expect a reply.

Now, some might say that a “professional” would delegate their public interface. Having dealt with many prominent people I know it sometimes takes weeks and many attempts just to get through to an agent or handler, let alone win a personal audience. Often when trying to interview other writers or public figures one encounters a fortress of aloof discouragement—just go away, I am way too busy for you. Those who have a great deal to say, often take such pains to hide themselves and make sure nobody gets to speak back. As I see it, Stallman shares with the legendary Noam Chomsky, in being approachable by anyone, whether a professional reporter, student, blogger, or critic.

So, within a few days I received a thoughtful and detailed reply from Richard himself, who suggested we talk, and some choices of technology for a meeting. We found a mutually agreeable solution, being Jit.si, over which Richard devoted hours to helping me with my questions. I had expected a great fuss about encryption, and to find myself awake past midnight recompiling a kernel or fighting with encryption keys in order to talk to Stallman who would be nit-picky, weird and patronising about my weak security practices. That didn’t happen. It’s a character strength of Stallman I have heard others praise, that while ideologically rigid, he is absolutely pragmatic.

Before we were scheduled to talk, Stallman took the initiative to reach out and remind me we had a meeting, pre-emptively suggesting we test the link, and that I should record the meeting on my side as a reference, thus saving me the awkwardness of asking permission. Professional? Certainly well organised and mindful of the needs of others.

Then came the actual meeting. I get to talk to a lot of smart people, but rarely do they engage like Richard Stallman. He listens. Being into communication theory I pay attention to styles of interaction. In several hours of online connection Richard Stallman never once spoke over me, showing extraordinarily adept use of timing and tone for voice communication with latency while clearly thinking about each question. He ended each session by asking if I needed a follow up session and whether the recording had been successful.

At this point, Richard had no idea who I “really was.” He remarked that he was helping a student publish an article on software freedom in higher education—but he had no time to devote to editing the students prose. I took this as a subtle invitation to quid pro quo, and so I offered to edit the article. That lead to a long, productive and very interesting interaction that inspired an article for the Times Higher Education.

My experience of Stallman seemed the very model of consummate professionalism—exemplary use of technology and language, far, far better manners than I expect from many corporate encounters. Contrary to commentators who paint him as socially clumsy, I found his rather charming way of advancing agendas and connecting people for mutual benefit quite skilful.

The word “unprofessional” has been co-opted as an accusation in modern witch-hunts. It is very hurtful to call another person unprofessional, partly because the concept is so poorly defined, and gets conflated with “bad character.” Often the accusation is levelled at someone who is indeed acting at the absolute height of professionalism, following
the true spirit of their profession, but standing against the status quo. Whistle-blowers or those advocating for organisational change toward better ethics come to mind as obvious victims. We must stop abusing the word “unprofessional” as a vague smear against anyone whose opinions we dislike.

A Letter to the FSF #letter1-fsf

Date: Apr 6, 2021, 14:12
From: [Email address redacted]
To: info@fsf.org
Subject: In support of RMS

Dear FSF,

I support Richard’s return to the FSF, and hope that he will continue providing momentum to the Free Software Movement in all ways possible, especially through the FSF and GNU.

I am a doctoral student of condensed matter physics at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India, and a regular user of free software for almost a decade now. I would like to express my gratitude to Richard’s initiative for software freedom, which has directly and indirectly enabled my research in more ways than one.

Pradeep Thakur
Pune, India.

IBM: We Trust Microsoft, We Don’t Trust the FSF

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


IBM and C sharp

Microsoft and IBM

Summary: It’s rather revealing that the priorities at IBM are hostile towards the Free software community, with Microsoft basically coming before the FSF (which ‘merely’ provides, free of charge, the operating system that IBM sells)


Misnaming the GNU Operating System

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux at 10:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FUD is not uniform (so-called ‘GNU Assembly’)

Summary: Hijacking the name “GNU” and calling it “Linux” (or pretending it soon turns 30, not 38) is a problem; this is what Richard Stallman told me 7 years ago

Direct download as Ogg

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