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LINKS FOR ADDITIONAL READING FOR THIS VIDEO & ALL INFO IN TEXT DOWN BELOW
About RMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman
About GNU: https://www.gnu.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html
Proprietary Software: https://www.gnu.org/proprietary/
About Free Software Foundation (FSF): https://www.fsf.org/about/staff-and-board
Richard Stallman Quotes: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/richard_stallman
Richard has always had a strong belief in the human right to freedom. In this increasingly technological world, Richard has always made it a point to work towards providing free software. His first big undertaking was to create the completely open source operating system called: GNU (gah-noo) means gnu’s not Unix.
He designed it to be similar to Unix, a previously existing operating system, except GNU is completely free software. This means that it gives the users full control over everything in it. Which is quite the contrast to the other operating systems that the majority of us use today like Microsoft, and Mac OS, where a company controls the software which ultimately controls the users.
I found a great interview conducted by David Pakman where Richard explains his views on these types of software programs. I’ll include a link down below and I really encourage you to check it out to get a better sense for Richards passion on this subject.
During this interview he has some great quotes, like:
“We should control the programs we use and not vice versa.”
He explains how every program is either free or proprietary. If a program is proprietary, it is a tool that the proprietor, usually a company, can use to ultimately subjugate its user base.
He and his team have worked for decades so that now there are computers you can buy that have free software already installed, you don’t have to be an expert to take part and support the free software movement. You don’t have to be a “slave” to proprietary programs.
Non free software programs today (Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Adobe…) intentionally have installed malicious functionality and backdoors, let’s them remotely control it whether you like it or not and also digital restrictions management (DRM) which means its designed to refuse to do the things you want with the data that you get.
There are all injustices. The Free Software Movement makes it a point to bring these injustices to light.
With free software, the contributors to that free software do not control what they users can and cannot do. Users can always check to see what they’ve done, they can compare the versions, if they don’t like something, they can change it.
I know this latter statement sounds an awful lot like what open source code is all about, but here is how Richard sees a big difference between the free software movement and the Open source movement:
This concept of Open source ultimately separates this concept of free software from its philosophical motivations. It doesn’t bring to light the negatives of proprietary software. It’s more PR friendly for the big companies. It’s a less abrasive way to go about promoting free software. He calls open source a superficial term that doesn’t raise ethical issues and he even goes so far as to refusing to attending events that use this term.
If you couldn’t get the hint with his views on the phrase open source, Richard places a lot of weight on the specific words used. He recognizes a word’s abilities to imply connotations and how they can place barriers on intelligent conversations on certain topics.
If you think that sounds extreme, welcome to the world of RMS. Whether or not if you agree with his views on the subject, you’ve got to admit that it’s an admirable quality to stay so strongly true to ones beliefs.