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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Transcript of Richard Stallman on the Free Software movement, Zagreb; 2006-03-09</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>The Free Software Movement and the Future of Freedom; March
  8. 9th 2006</h1>
  9. <p>
  10. The following is a transcript of a lecture given by Richard
  11. Stallman in Zagreb on March 9th 2006. The lecture was given in
  12. English. You may also be interested in
  13. our <a href="http://fsfe.org/transcripts#rms">list of
  14. transcripts by Richard Stallman</a>.
  15. </p>
  16. <p>
  17. Richard Stallman launched
  18. the <a href="/documents/gnuproject.html">GNU project</a> in
  19. 1983, and with it
  20. the <a href="/documents/freesoftware.html">Free Software</a>
  21. movement. Stallman is the president of FSF - a sister
  22. organisation of FSFE.
  23. </p>
  24. <p>
  25. Transcription of this presentation was undertaken
  26. by <a href="/about/oriordan/oriordan.html">Ciarán O'Riordan</a>.
  27. Please support work such as this
  28. by <a href="http://www.fsfe.org/">joining the Fellowship of
  29. FSFE</a>, by <a href="/help/donate">donating to FSFE</a>, and by
  30. encouraging others to do each.
  31. </p>
  32. <p>
  33. An audio recording of the lecture is online at:
  34. </p>
  35. <ul>
  36. <li>
  37. <a
  38. href="http://mjesec.ffzg.hr/~dpavlin/stallman2006/free_software_movement_and_the_future_of_freedom_zagreb_09_march_2006.ogg">http://mjesec.ffzg.hr/~dpavlin/stallman2006/...
  39. [long file name].ogg</a>
  40. </li>
  41. </ul>
  42. <h2>Lecture sections</h2>
  43. <ul>
  44. <li><a href="#what-is-free-software?">What is Free Software?</a></li>
  45. <li><a href="#why-are-these-the-essential-freedoms?">Why are these the essential freedoms?</a></li>
  46. <li><a href="#freedom-two">Freedom two</a></li>
  47. <li><a href="#freedom-zero">Freedom zero</a></li>
  48. <li><a href="#freedom-one">Freedom one</a></li>
  49. <li><a href="#freedom-three">Freedom three</a></li>
  50. <li><a href="#directly-funding-free-software-development">Directly funding Free Software development</a></li>
  51. <li><a href="#comparing-free-and-proprietary-software">Comparing free and proprietary software</a></li>
  52. <li><a href="#the-situation-in-1983">The situation in 1983</a></li>
  53. <li><a href="#choosing-the-unix-design">Choosing the Unix design</a></li>
  54. <li><a href="#the-name-gnu">The name "GNU"</a></li>
  55. <li><a href="#gnu-and-linux">GNU and Linux</a></li>
  56. <li><a href="#software-freedom-needs-to-be-widely-understood">Software freedom needs to be widely understood</a></li>
  57. <li><a href="#we-urgently-need-people-to-work-on-stage-2">We urgently need people to work on "stage 2"</a></li>
  58. <li><a href="#today-we-have-enemies">Today, we have enemies</a></li>
  59. <li><a href="#we-need-to-stop-wasting-our-market-power">We need to stop wasting our market power</a></li>
  60. <li><a href="#treacherous-computing">Treacherous Computing</a></li>
  61. <li><a href="#the-dmca-and-eucd-laws">The DMCA and EUCD laws</a></li>
  62. <li><a href="#software-patents">Software patents</a></li>
  63. <li><a href="#more-legislative-battles">More legislative battles to come</a></li>
  64. <li><a href="#free-software-and-schools">Free Software and schools</a></li>
  65. <li><a href="#st-ignucius-and-the-church-of-emacs">St. IGNUcius and the Church of Emacs</a></li>
  66. <li><a href="#q1">Question #1: Can you comment on Mono?</a></li>
  67. <li><a href="#q2">Question #2: What do you think of BSD licences?</a></li>
  68. <li><a href="#q3">Question #3: What if people violate our licences?</a></li>
  69. <li><a href="#q4">Question #4: It should be made clearer that publishing modifications is optional</a></li>
  70. <li><a href="#q5">Question #5: Does your halo contain proprietary software?</a></li>
  71. <li><a href="#q6">Question #6: Can you comment on the Creative Commons licence(s)?</a></li>
  72. <li><a href="#q7">Question #7: Do you know any free culture organisation?</a></li>
  73. <li><a href="#q8">Question #8: Shouldn't Free Software be expensive because it is valuable?</a></li>
  74. <li><a href="#links-for-further-reading">Links for further reading</a></li>
  75. </ul>
  76. <h2>The lecture transcript</h2>
  77. <p>
  78. <span id="what-is-free-software?">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: What is Free Software?]</span>
  79. </p>
  80. <p>
  81. [00:03:10]
  82. </p>
  83. <p class="indent">
  84. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: What
  85. is Free Software? Free Software means software that respects
  86. the user's freedom. Software available to you but without
  87. respecting your freedom is called proprietary software or
  88. non-Free Software.
  89. </p>
  90. <p class="indent">
  91. Proprietary software keeps users divided and helpless. Divided
  92. because each user is forbidden to share with other people, and
  93. helpless because the users don't have the source code, so they can't
  94. change anything, they can't even tell what the program is really
  95. doing.
  96. </p>
  97. <p class="indent">
  98. But Free Software, which I believe is translated [into Croation]
  99. as slobodni softver, is software that respects the user's
  100. freedom. What do I mean by this? Because it's never enough
  101. just to say &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">I'm in
  102. favour of freedom</span>&quot;, the crucial issue is always:
  103. what are the essential freedoms that everyone should have?
  104. </p>
  105. <p>
  106. [00:04:27]
  107. </p>
  108. <p class="indent">
  109. There are four essential freedoms for the user of a program.
  110. </p>
  111. <ul>
  112. <li>
  113. Freedom zero is the freedom to run the program as you wish, for any
  114. purpose.
  115. </li>
  116. <li>
  117. Freedom one is the freedom to study the source code of the program and
  118. change it to do what you wish.
  119. </li>
  120. <li>
  121. Freedom two is the freedom to help your neighbour. That's the freedom
  122. to make copies and distribute them to others, when you wish.
  123. </li>
  124. <li>
  125. Freedom three is the freedom to help your community. That's the
  126. freedom to distribute or publish modified versions, when you wish.
  127. </li>
  128. </ul>
  129. <p class="indent">
  130. With all four of these freedoms, the program is Free Software.
  131. If one of these freedoms is substantially missing - is
  132. insufficiently available - then the program is proprietary
  133. software, which means it is distributed in an unethical system
  134. and therefore should not be used and should not be developed at
  135. all.
  136. </p>
  137. <p>
  138. [00:05:45]
  139. </p>
  140. <p class="indent">
  141. Please note that the majority of software, nearly all software, is
  142. neither free nor proprietary, it is custom software developed for one
  143. particular user. If that one particular user has all these freedoms,
  144. say, if that user has the full rights to the software, then you might
  145. say in a trivial sense that it's Free Software. There's only one user
  146. and that user is free. No user has been subjugated; no one is being
  147. mistreated in this way. Of course there are always other ethical
  148. issues that might enter the situation. There are many ethical issues
  149. in life, but in this one particular ethical issue, at least in that
  150. case, nothing wrong is being done.
  151. </p>
  152. <p>
  153. <span id="why-are-these-the-essential-freedoms?">(<a href="#menu">go
  154. to menu</a>) [Section: Why are these the essential freedoms?]</span>
  155. </p>
  156. <p class="indent">
  157. But why are these four freedoms essential? Why define the term
  158. Free Software <span style="font-style: italic;">this</span> way?
  159. </p>
  160. <p>
  161. <span id="freedom-two">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Freedom two]</span>
  162. </p>
  163. <p class="indent">
  164. Freedom two is essential on fundamental ethical grounds, so that
  165. you can live an upright, ethical life as a member of your
  166. community. If you use a program that does not give you freedom
  167. number two, you're in danger of falling at any moment into a
  168. moral dilema. When your friend says
  169. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">that's a nice program,
  170. could I have a copy?</span>&quot; At that moment, you will have
  171. to choose between two evils. One evil is: give your friend a
  172. copy and violate the licence of the program. The other evil is:
  173. deny your friend a copy and comply with the licence of the
  174. program.
  175. </p>
  176. <p class="indent">
  177. Once you are in that situation, you should choose the lesser
  178. evil. The lesser evil is to give your friend a copy and violate
  179. the licence of the program.
  180. </p>
  181. <p>
  182. [laughter]
  183. </p>
  184. <p class="indent">
  185. Now, why is that the lesser evil? The reason is that we can
  186. assume that your friend has treated you well and has been a good
  187. person and deserves your cooperation. The reason we can assume
  188. this is that in the other case, if a nasty person you don't
  189. really like asked you for help, of course you can say
  190. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Why should I help
  191. you?</span>&quot; So that's an easy case. The hard case is the
  192. case where that person has been a good person to you and other
  193. people and you would want to help him normally.
  194. </p>
  195. <p class="indent">
  196. Whereas, the developer of the program has deliberately attacked the
  197. social solidarity of your community. Deliberately tried to separate
  198. you from everyone else in the World. So if you can't help doing wrong
  199. in some direction or other, better to aim the wrong at somebody who
  200. deserves it, who has done something wrong, rather than at somebody who
  201. hasn't done anything wrong.
  202. </p>
  203. <p class="indent">
  204. However, to be the lesser evil does not mean it is good. It's never
  205. good - not entirely - to make some kind of agreement and then break
  206. it. It may be the right thing to do, but it's not entirely good.
  207. </p>
  208. <p class="indent">
  209. The only thing in the software field that is worse than an
  210. unauthorised copy of a proprietary program, is an authorised
  211. copy of the proprietary program because this does the same harm
  212. to its whole community of users, and in addition, usually the
  213. developer, the perpetrator of this evil, profits from it.
  214. </p>
  215. <p class="indent">
  216. Once you have thought about this and understood the nature of the
  217. dilema, what you should really do is make sure you don't get into the
  218. dilema. There are two ways of doing this. One way, the way that the
  219. proprietary software developers perhaps prefer, is: don't have any
  220. friends.
  221. </p>
  222. <p>
  223. [laughter]
  224. </p>
  225. <p class="indent">
  226. The other is: don't use proprietary software.
  227. </p>
  228. <p>
  229. [00:10:25]<br />
  230. [00:11:25]
  231. </p>
  232. <p class="indent">
  233. If you don't use proprietary software, that means you never put
  234. yourself at risk of the dilema happening to you. If a friend asks me
  235. for a copy of a program, I will never be in that dilema because I can
  236. always legally say yes because I only accept copies of Free Software.
  237. If someone offers me a program that's attractive to me, on the
  238. condition that I not share it with you, I will say no, because I want
  239. to be in a condition where I have nothing to be ashamed of.
  240. </p>
  241. <p class="indent">
  242. The most essential resource of any society is not a physical resource,
  243. it's a physo-social resource. It's the spirit of good will; the
  244. spirit of helping your neighbour. It's no accident that the World's
  245. major religions for thousands of years have actively promoted the
  246. spirit of good will. Because if they can increase the level of this
  247. spirit by a little bit, it makes life better for everyone.
  248. </p>
  249. <p class="indent">
  250. So what does it mean when powerful social institutions say that it's
  251. wrong to share? What are they doing? They're poisoning this vital
  252. resource, something that no society can afford. No society has too
  253. much spirit of good will. No society can afford to burn off some of
  254. it.
  255. </p>
  256. <p class="indent">
  257. And what does it mean when they say if you share with neighbour you're
  258. a pirate? What are they doing? They're trying to equate helping your
  259. neighbour with attacking ships. And nothing could be more wrong than
  260. that because attacking ships is very very bad, but helping your
  261. neighbour is admirable.
  262. </p>
  263. <p class="indent">
  264. And what does it mean when they impose harsh punishments of years in
  265. prison on people who help their neighbours? How much fear is it going
  266. to take before your neighbours are too scared to share with you, or
  267. before you're too scared to share with them.
  268. </p>
  269. <p>
  270. [00:14:07]
  271. </p>
  272. <p class="indent">
  273. That level of fear, that terror campaign, is what the developers
  274. of non-Free Software are trying to impose on people all around
  275. the World. And I use the term &quot;<span style="font-style:
  276. italic;">terror campaign</span>&quot;, not just to show how
  277. strongly I disapprove of it, but because so far, in at least two
  278. countries, the developers of proprietary software have
  279. threatened people with being raped for having unauthorised
  280. copies. And when they start threatening people with rape, I
  281. think that qualifies as a terror campaign. I believe we should
  282. end their terror campaign. We should not allow it to continue.
  283. </p>
  284. <p>
  285. [00:14:53]
  286. </p>
  287. <p class="indent">
  288. That's the reason for freedom number two, the freedom to help your
  289. neighbour. The freedom to make copies and distribute them to others.
  290. </p>
  291. <p>
  292. <span id="freedom-zero">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Freedom zero]</span>
  293. </p>
  294. <p class="indent">
  295. Freedom zero is necessary for a completely different reason. That's
  296. the freedom to run the program as you wish for whatever purpose. It
  297. may be shocking but there are proprietary programs that don't give you
  298. even this meagre freedom. They restrict how much you can run the
  299. program or when, or how, or for what jobs, for what purpose.
  300. </p>
  301. <p class="indent">
  302. Obviously, this is not having control of your own computer. So
  303. freedom zero is necessary to have control of your own computer, but
  304. it's not enough because that's only the freedom to do or not do
  305. whatever the developer already chose for you.
  306. </p>
  307. <p>
  308. <span id="freedom-one">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Freedom one]</span>
  309. </p>
  310. <p class="indent">
  311. To really have the control of your computer, you have to take those
  312. decisions away from the developer so that you can make them. For that
  313. you need freedom number one, the freedom to study the source code of
  314. the program and change it to do what you want. If you don't have that
  315. freedom, you can't even tell what the program is doing.
  316. </p>
  317. <p class="indent">
  318. Yesterday I was told that Ceauşescu decided to have all
  319. telephones in Romania built for listening purposes - government
  320. listening purposes. Today, proprietary software developers do
  321. something similar. Many non-free programs contain malicious
  322. features designed to spy on the user, restrict the user, or even
  323. attack the user.
  324. </p>
  325. <p class="indent">
  326. Spy features are quite common. One non-free program that spies
  327. on the user that you might have heard of is called Windows XP.
  328. When the user of Windows XP, and I won't say
  329. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">you</span>&quot; because
  330. you wouldn't use a program like this, when the user of Windows
  331. XP searches her own files for some word, Windows sends a message
  332. saying what word was searched for. That's one spy feature.
  333. </p>
  334. <p class="indent">
  335. Then, when Windows asks for an update, to download the latest
  336. changes, it sends a list of all the software that's installed on
  337. the machine. That's another spy feature.
  338. </p>
  339. <p class="indent">
  340. It was not easy to find out about these spy features. I don't
  341. think Microsoft tells people that they're going to be spied on
  342. in this way. They probably put something in the licence saying
  343. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">you agree to let us
  344. collect whatever information may be necessary for whatever blah
  345. blah blah</span>&quot;. And the users don't even bother to read
  346. this, and if they did, it wouldn't tell them anything.
  347. </p>
  348. <p class="indent">
  349. In fact, some clever research was needed to discover that Windows was
  350. sending the list of programs installed because it sends that list
  351. encrypted.
  352. </p>
  353. <p>
  354. [00:18:45]
  355. </p>
  356. <p class="indent">
  357. But spying on the user is not limited to Windows. Windows Media
  358. Player also spies on the user, in fact, it does complete surveillance,
  359. reporting every site that the user looks at.
  360. </p>
  361. <p class="indent">
  362. But please don't think that this kind of malice is limited to
  363. Microsoft. Microsoft is simply one among many developers of
  364. user-subjugating software. RealPlayer does the same thing. It does
  365. complete surveillance of the user, reporting every page that the user
  366. looks at.
  367. </p>
  368. <p class="indent">
  369. And the Tivo does the same thing. And the Tivo was an interesting
  370. case because many in the Free Software community applauded the Tivo
  371. when it came out. The Tivo actually uses a lot of Free Software; it
  372. contains a GNU/Linux system in it.
  373. </p>
  374. <p class="indent">
  375. So people said &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Oh, how
  376. great! They're using our software, they're benefiting from us,
  377. we should be happy</span>&quot;. Unfortunately, the Tivo also
  378. contains non-Free Software and it spies on the user. It reports
  379. exactly what the user watches.
  380. </p>
  381. <p class="indent">
  382. This shows us that it's not enough, our goal has to go beyond that
  383. they use Free Software. The goal has to be that they not use non-Free
  384. Software, that we not use non-Free Software. If you want to maintain
  385. your freedom, you have to reject any program that's going to take it
  386. away and every non-free program takes it away.
  387. </p>
  388. <p class="indent">
  389. To get a computer that uses some Free Software, partly Free Software,
  390. doesn't mean that that computer is respecting your freedom. It's only
  391. partly respecting your freedom.
  392. </p>
  393. <p>
  394. [00:21:00]
  395. </p>
  396. <p class="indent">
  397. Malicious features go beyond spying. For instance, there is the
  398. functionality of refusing to function. Where the program says
  399. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">I don't want to show you
  400. this file, I don't want to let you copy some lines from this
  401. file, I'm not going to print this file for you, because I don't
  402. like you enough</span>&quot;. This is also known as DRM -
  403. Digital Restrictions Management, the intentional feature of
  404. refusing to function.
  405. </p>
  406. <p class="indent">
  407. And then there are back doors. There was a non-free program that was
  408. liberated a few years ago, and when the users then could see the
  409. source code they discovered that it had had a back door for years.
  410. </p>
  411. <p class="indent">
  412. They couldn't tell while the program was proprietary. They couldn't
  413. tell there was a back door. Only when it was free could they see that
  414. there was a back door, and, of course, they took it out.
  415. </p>
  416. <p class="indent">
  417. One proprietary program that you might know of by name that has
  418. a back door is called Windows XP. When Windows XP asks for an
  419. upgrade, Microsoft knows the identity of the user, so Microsoft
  420. can provide that user with an upgrade designed specifically for
  421. him. And what does that mean? It means that that user is
  422. completely at Microsoft's mercy, Microsoft can do anything
  423. whatsoever to him.
  424. </p>
  425. <p class="indent">
  426. There is a piece of Microsoft server software which in 1999 was
  427. discovered to contain a back door installed for the US National
  428. Security Agency. You can't trust non-Free Software. Non-Free
  429. Software gives the developer power over the users and with this power
  430. comes the possibility of using it in many specific ways against those
  431. users. Some developers of proprietary software do this. And others
  432. don't. Of course, you can never tell which class any particular
  433. developer falls into except when you discover a malicious feature.
  434. Then you know. But aside from that, you don't know.
  435. </p>
  436. <p class="indent">
  437. But let's suppose we're talking about one of the programs whose
  438. developers do not put in malicious features - because there are some
  439. developers, they sincerely try to write a program which will run in a
  440. way that serves the user.
  441. </p>
  442. <p class="indent">
  443. They're still human, so they make mistakes. All programmers make
  444. mistakes. Their code still has bugs. All non-trivial programs have
  445. bugs. The user of a non-free program is just as helpless against an
  446. accidental bug as she is against an intentional malicious feature.
  447. The user of a non-free program is a prisoner of his software.
  448. </p>
  449. <p>
  450. [00:25:05]
  451. </p>
  452. <p class="indent">
  453. We, the developers of Free Software, are human too. We also make
  454. mistakes, and our programs also have bugs. The difference is that
  455. when our programs have bugs or features you don't like, you can fix
  456. them because we have respected your freedom to fix them, to change the
  457. code. Whatever we've implemented that you don't like, you can
  458. change because we respected your freedom to do so.
  459. </p>
  460. <p class="indent">
  461. But freedom number one is not enough. Freedom number one is the
  462. freedom to personally study the source code and then change it to do
  463. what you want. This is not enough because there are millions of
  464. computer users that don't know how to program. They can't directly
  465. exercise this freedom. But even for programmers like me, freedom
  466. number one is not enough because there's just too much software -
  467. there's too much Free Software. No one person can study it all and
  468. master it all and personally make all the changes that she might
  469. want.
  470. </p>
  471. <p class="indent">
  472. It's beyond the capacity of one human being.
  473. </p>
  474. <p>
  475. <span id="freedom-three">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Freedom three]</span>
  476. </p>
  477. <p class="indent">
  478. So the only way we can fully take control of the software we use is to
  479. do it working together, cooperating, and for that we need freedom
  480. number three, the freedom to help your community, the freedom to
  481. distribute or publish modified versions when you want.
  482. </p>
  483. <p class="indent">
  484. With this freedom, together we can take full control of the software.
  485. So Free Software is software that develops democratically under the
  486. control of its users. Not in the strict sense of democracy that
  487. everyone votes and then people make the program do something according
  488. to the vote and everyone gets it. It's better than that. Instead, if
  489. you have a free program and a lot of people want it to make progress
  490. in this direction, they will do a lot of work and publish their
  491. improvements, so the program will make a lot of progress in this
  492. direction.
  493. </p>
  494. <p class="indent">
  495. Whereas, if only a few people want progress in this direction, they
  496. can still do it, they can still make the program develop in that
  497. direction but it will be limited by the amount of effort that people
  498. want to put in. And if most people don't like that change, they'll
  499. just use their own version. The main version will be one that goes in
  500. this direction, but the other people who want something different,
  501. they'll be free to have their own version which makes progress in
  502. their direction.
  503. </p>
  504. <p class="indent">
  505. If there are a million people who want a certain change in a Free
  506. program, then by chance, a few thousand of them will know how to
  507. program, and sooner or later, a few of them will make that change and
  508. publish their modified version and then all those million people will
  509. switch and thus we can see that only programmers can directly exercise
  510. freedoms one and three but every user can directly exercise freedoms
  511. zero and two - the freedoms to run the program and copy the program -
  512. and the non-programmer users indirectly get the benefit of freedoms
  513. one and three. They can't use these freedoms directly, because that
  514. means programming, but when other people exercise these freedoms, the
  515. non-programmers also share in the benefits.
  516. </p>
  517. <p class="indent">
  518. So these four freedoms are essential for all users, including the
  519. non-programmers, who are the majority of society.
  520. </p>
  521. <p>
  522. <span
  523. id="directly-funding-free-software-development">(<a
  524. href="#menu">go
  525. to menu</a>) [Section: Directly funding Free Software development]</span>
  526. </p>
  527. <p class="indent">
  528. Suppose there were just a thousand users who want a certain change in
  529. a free program, and suppose nobody in that thousand knows how to
  530. program, they can still get the benefit of these freedoms. Here's
  531. how:
  532. </p>
  533. <p class="indent">
  534. One of them can make an announcement and get in touch with the others,
  535. get them to respond, and then once they're in touch, they can start an
  536. organisation.
  537. </p>
  538. <p>
  539. [00:30:04]
  540. </p>
  541. <p class="indent">
  542. The purpose of this organisation is to raise money to make the change
  543. they want. The organisation says to join you must pay 100 dollar.
  544. So, these thousand people, we assume they really want this change, so
  545. they all join and the organisation has 100,000 dollars with which it
  546. can hire, perhaps, a couple of programmers for a year, and that is a
  547. way to make quite a big change.
  548. </p>
  549. <p class="indent">
  550. If they only wanted a small change, maybe they could charge ten
  551. dollars to join.
  552. </p>
  553. <p class="indent">
  554. To actually make this change, the organisation has to pay
  555. programmers, which means first they have to find people to hire,
  556. they ask some programmers &quot;<span style="font-style:
  557. italic;">when could you make this change and what would you
  558. charge?</span>&quot; and then they could ask other programmers
  559. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">when could you make this
  560. charge and what would you charge?</span>&quot; and then they can
  561. hire whoever they wish.
  562. </p>
  563. <p class="indent">
  564. Which shows that Free Software means a free market for all kinds
  565. of support and services. By contrast, proprietary software
  566. usually means a monopoly for support because only the developer
  567. has the source code, so only the developer can make any change.
  568. This means that users that want a change, have to beg the
  569. developer. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Please make
  570. the change that we want</span>&quot;. Sometimes the developer
  571. says &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">pay us and we'll
  572. listen to your problem</span>&quot;, and if the user does that,
  573. the developer says &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">thank
  574. you, in six months there will be an upgrade. Buy the upgrade
  575. and you'll see if we've fixed your problem and you'll see what
  576. new problems we have in store for you</span>&quot;.
  577. </p>
  578. <p>
  579. [00:32:07]
  580. </p>
  581. <p class="indent">
  582. With Free Software, anyone that has a copy, can study the source code,
  583. master it, and begin offering support - in a free market. Thus, those
  584. users that really value good support can expect in general to get
  585. better support through the free market for support for Free Software
  586. than they can get through the monopoly for support for proprietary
  587. software.
  588. </p>
  589. <p class="indent">
  590. And this also shows us something paradoxical: usually when there is a
  591. choice between products to do a certain job, we say there is no
  592. monopoly, but when there is a choice between proprietary software
  593. packages to do a certain job, there still is a monopoly, in fact there
  594. is more than one monopoly. This is a choice between monopolies
  595. because the poor user who chooses this proprietary program will be
  596. stuck afterward with this monopoly for support. But if that poor user
  597. chooses this proprietary program, he'll be stuck with this monopoly
  598. for support. So there's no escaping monopoly.
  599. </p>
  600. <p class="indent">
  601. And this is an illustration of a broader principle. It's a
  602. mistake to equate freedom to &quot;<span style="font-style:
  603. italic;">the freedom of choice</span>&quot;. Freedom is
  604. something much bigger than having a choice between a few
  605. specific options. Freedom means having control of your own
  606. life. When people try to analyse freedom by reducing it to the
  607. freedom of choice, they've already thrown away nearly all of it
  608. and what's left is such a small fraction of real freedom, that
  609. they can easily prove it doesn't really matter very much. So
  610. that term is very often the first step in the fallacious
  611. argument that freedom is not important.
  612. </p>
  613. <p class="indent">
  614. To be able to choose between proprietary software packages is to be
  615. able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master.
  616. </p>
  617. <p>
  618. [00:34:45]
  619. </p>
  620. <p class="indent">
  621. So, now I've explained the reason for freedom number three - the
  622. freedom to help your community, the freedom to distribute or publish a
  623. modified version when you wish. And thus I've completed explaining
  624. the reasons for the four freedoms. If a program carries all four of
  625. these essential freedoms, then it is Free Software, and that means it
  626. is being distributed in an ethical system. If one of these freedoms
  627. is substantially missing, then the program is proprietary software and
  628. that means you shouldn't use it and it shouldn't be developed at all,
  629. not this way.
  630. </p>
  631. <p>
  632. <span
  633. id="comparing-free-and-proprietary-software">(<a href="#menu">go
  634. to menu</a>) [Section: Comparing free and proprietary software]</span>
  635. </p>
  636. <p class="indent">
  637. Developing a proprietary program is developing temptations for
  638. people to give up their freedom, and this is not a positive
  639. contribution to society. This is the place where people are
  640. making a mistake when they try to compare Free Software with
  641. proprietary software in terms of how much software could be
  642. developed. That's like saying: &quot;<span style="font-style:
  643. italic;">is it better to make guns or houses and food? Well,
  644. let's see how much we could make of one or the other each. Oh,
  645. we can make more guns, then make guns.</span>&quot;
  646. </p>
  647. <p class="indent">
  648. It is getting the whole question wrong. When people say:
  649. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">could we make more
  650. proprietary software or could we make more Free
  651. Software</span>&quot;, they're getting the whole question wrong.
  652. The best thing is if you can make some Free Software, the next
  653. best thing is if you don't make any software, and the worst
  654. thing is if you make some proprietary software.
  655. </p>
  656. <p>
  657. [00:36:52]
  658. </p>
  659. <p class="indent">
  660. I'm all in favour of the principle that it's good to reward
  661. people who do things that contribute to society and it's good to
  662. punish people, one way or another, if they do things that harm
  663. society. This means that people who develop Free Software
  664. that's useful deserve a reward, and people who develop
  665. proprietary software that's attractive deserve a punishment.
  666. </p>
  667. <p class="indent">
  668. Although it is good to reward and punish actions that contribute
  669. to or harm society, we can't just say
  670. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">I'm going to do whatever
  671. is rewarded and it's up to society to make sure they only reward
  672. good things</span>&quot;. Our responsibility as ethical beings
  673. is to do right, whether it's being rewarded or not. And that's
  674. why I made a decision long ago that I would develop Free
  675. Software or no software. I will not develop bait for people to
  676. give up their freedom. It's better if I did nothing.
  677. </p>
  678. <p>
  679. <span id="the-situation-in-1983">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: The situation in 1983]</span>
  680. </p>
  681. <p class="indent">
  682. I reached these ethical ideas in the year 1983. More or less. Of
  683. course I had been learning about these issues for many years before
  684. that. But in 1983 was when I decided that what I wanted to do was
  685. make it possible to use a computer in freedom as part of a community.
  686. </p>
  687. <p class="indent">
  688. How could this be possible? In 1983, it was impossible, and the
  689. reason is that the computer won't do anything without an operating
  690. system and in 1983, all the operating systems for modern computers
  691. were proprietary. In fact, the user had to sign a non-disclosure
  692. agreement even to get the executable version. And the source code was
  693. not available to ordinary users.
  694. </p>
  695. <p class="indent">
  696. So the second step in becoming a computer user, after buying the
  697. computer itself, was to explicitly betray the rest of your community.
  698. So what could I do about that?
  699. </p>
  700. <p class="indent">
  701. I was just one man believing in an idea that most people would
  702. have thought was ridiculously radical. I had no political
  703. skill. Not much fame - outside of the circle of editor
  704. developers. So what could I do to change this. I didn't think
  705. I could convince governments to change their laws or convince
  706. companies to change their practices. But there was one thing I
  707. was very good at and that was developing software. Particularly
  708. operating system software. And when I put that together, I
  709. realised I could solve this problem without convincing anybody
  710. in particular by developing another operating system that would
  711. be free. And then we could all switch to it and live in
  712. freedom. We wouldn't have to convince any other developers to
  713. change, we could just turn our backs on them. If someone else
  714. wouldn't respect our freedom, we just wouldn't use his software.
  715. </p>
  716. <p>
  717. [00:40:52]
  718. </p>
  719. <p class="indent">
  720. I had discovered a way of making a political change in society,
  721. through technical work. And when I realised that this path was
  722. possible, and that it required exactly the kind of work that was may
  723. main skill, I realised that I had been elected by circumstances to do
  724. this job.
  725. </p>
  726. <p class="indent">
  727. It's as if you see someone drowning, and you know how to swim, and
  728. it's not Bush...
  729. </p>
  730. <p>
  731. [laughter]
  732. </p>
  733. <p class="indent">
  734. ...then you have a moral duty to save that person. I don't know how
  735. to swim, but in this case the job that needed doing was not swimming,
  736. it was writing a lot of software. And for that, I had a chance. So I
  737. decided that I would develop a Free Software operating system, or die
  738. trying. Of old age presumably.
  739. </p>
  740. <p>
  741. [laughter]
  742. </p>
  743. <p class="indent">
  744. Because, at the time, the Free Software movement that I was
  745. starting, had no active enemies. There were plenty of people
  746. who disagreed, but they just laughed. No one was actively
  747. trying to stop us from developing a free operating system. The
  748. obstacle was just that it was a lot of work, and nobody knew if
  749. we would ever reach that point. But, when you're fighting for
  750. freedom, you mustn't wait until you know you're going to win
  751. before you start to fight because if that's you're policy,
  752. you're always going to miss the opportunities.
  753. </p>
  754. <p>
  755. <span id="choosing-the-unix-design">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Choosing the Unix design]</span>
  756. </p>
  757. <p class="indent">
  758. So, this decision lead me to other decisions, technical design
  759. decisions. What sort of system should it be? Well, back in the 1980s
  760. there were many different computer architectures and they kept
  761. introducing new ones. I knew it would take years to finish an
  762. operating system, and by that time the computers could look
  763. different. So that meant the system had to be portable. Otherwise,
  764. it would probably be obsolete before it was finished.
  765. </p>
  766. <p class="indent">
  767. But there was just one successful portable operating system I knew of
  768. and that was Unix. So I decided to follow the design of Unix,
  769. figuring that way I would have a better chance of completing a system
  770. that would really be portable and usable. Furthermore, since Unix was
  771. popular, it was useful to make the system upward compatible with Unix.
  772. And that way, the many users of Unix would be able to switch easily.
  773. </p>
  774. <p class="indent">
  775. So I decided to do that, and that lead to an interesting consequence.
  776. You see, Unix consists of hundreds of different separate components
  777. that communicate through interfaces that were more or less
  778. documented. And the users use those same interfaces to communicate
  779. with these pieces.
  780. </p>
  781. <p class="indent">
  782. So to be compatible with Unix, you have to keep the same interfaces,
  783. more or less, and replace each piece compatibly. Which meant that all
  784. the initial design decisions were already made. These pieces could be
  785. replaced by many different people. For each piece, a different group
  786. of programmers could work on it, and they could work on each piece
  787. separately. Which eliminates one of the biggest problems of a large
  788. programming project which is the difficulty of having so many people
  789. talking to each other.
  790. </p>
  791. <p>
  792. [00:45:30]
  793. </p>
  794. <p class="indent">
  795. By making the decision to be compatible with Unix, which was important
  796. to make the system easy to switch to, it had already been chopped up
  797. into separate parts for us. Hundreds of parts.
  798. </p>
  799. <p>
  800. <span id="the-name-gnu">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: The name &quot;GNU&quot;]</span>
  801. </p>
  802. <p class="indent">
  803. The only thing we needed in order to start working, was a name. In
  804. the community of programmers who shared software in the 1970s, that
  805. thought me that Free Software is a good and ethical way of life, we
  806. programmed for the joy of it.
  807. </p>
  808. <p class="indent">
  809. Many of us were students, and many of the rest were paid to do this
  810. work, but that was secondary. The main reason we were programming was
  811. because it was tremendously fascinating fun. Because we were doing
  812. this in a spirit of joy and fun, we had lots of other practices that
  813. were designed to have fun. For instance, we would often give our
  814. programs funny names or even naughty names - mischievous names. And
  815. we had a particular custom which was, when you're developing a program
  816. that is inspired by another program - perhaps compatible with it - you
  817. could give your program a name which was a recursive acronym saying
  818. that this program is not the other one. It's a funny way of giving
  819. credit to the original program which was an inspiration.
  820. </p>
  821. <p>
  822. [00:47:32]
  823. </p>
  824. <p class="indent">
  825. For instance, in 1975, I developed the first Emacs text editor,
  826. an extensible programmable text editor. You could actually
  827. re-programme the editor while using it. And this was so
  828. attractive that it was imitated about thirty times. And some of
  829. them were called &quot;<span style="font-style:
  830. italic;">something Emacs</span>&quot;, but there was also Sine,
  831. for Sine Is Not Emacs, and Fine, for Fine Is Not Emacs, and
  832. Eine, for Eine Is Not Emacs. And Mince, for Mince Is Not
  833. Complete Emacs, and version two of Eine was called Zwei, for
  834. Zwei Was Eine Initially.
  835. </p>
  836. <p class="indent">
  837. So you could have lots of fun with recursive acronyms. For lack of
  838. any better idea, I looked for a recursive acronym for something- Is
  839. Not Unix, but I tried all twenty-six possibilities, but none of them
  840. was a word in English, and if it doesn't have another meaning, it's
  841. not funny. So what was I going to do? Well, I thought, I could make
  842. a contraction, and that way I could have a three letter recursive
  843. acronym.
  844. </p>
  845. <p class="indent">
  846. I tried every letter, ANU, BNU, CNU, DNU, ENU, FNU, GNU! Well, gnu
  847. was the funniest word in the English language. Given an intelligent,
  848. meaningful, specific reason to call something gnu, I could not
  849. resist.
  850. </p>
  851. <p>
  852. [00:49:21]
  853. </p>
  854. <p class="indent">
  855. Why is the word gnu used for so much wordplay? Because
  856. according to the dictionary, it's pronounced
  857. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">noo</span>&quot;. The
  858. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">g</span>&quot; is
  859. silent. And the temptation to say gnu instead of
  860. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">new</span>&quot;
  861. anywhere is almost irresistible to people who like wordplay.
  862. There was even a funny song inspired by the word gnu when I was
  863. a child. With so much laughter already associated with the
  864. word, it was the best possible name for anything.
  865. </p>
  866. <p class="indent">
  867. However, when it's the name of our operating system, please do
  868. not follow the dictionary. If you talk about the
  869. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">new</span>&quot;
  870. operating system you'll get people very confused - especially
  871. since we've been working on it for twenty-three years now, so
  872. it's not new anymore. But it still is and always will be
  873. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">gnu</span>&quot; [two
  874. syllables, like &quot;<span style="font-style:
  875. italic;">canoe</span>&quot;], no matter how many people
  876. pronounce it &quot;<span style="font-style:
  877. italic;">Linux</span>&quot; by mistake.
  878. </p>
  879. <p class="indent">
  880. So, how did that mistake get started?
  881. </p>
  882. <p>
  883. <span id="gnu-and-linux">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: GNU and Linux]</span>
  884. </p>
  885. <p class="indent">
  886. During the 1980s, we developed one piece after another of the GNU
  887. system. At first it was slow because there was just me and one other
  888. person, because of course, the goal was not to have a system written
  889. by me, the goal was to have a Free Software operating system as soon
  890. as possible. So of course I recruited other people to help as well as
  891. I could. Starting in 1983, before I actually began writing anything,
  892. I began asking other people to join in. And over the years, each
  893. year, more people joined in and started contributing to GNU.
  894. </p>
  895. <p>
  896. [00:51:23]
  897. </p>
  898. <p class="indent">
  899. By 1990, we had almost all of the pieces. But one of the large,
  900. essential components was still missing, and that was the kernel. So
  901. in 1990, the Free Software Foundation - which I had started at the end
  902. of 1985 in order to raise money to contribute to progress in Free
  903. Software - hired someone to begin developing a kernel. I chose the
  904. design of the kernel, and that was all I was involved with. I didn't
  905. write it. I chose a design which I hoped would enable us to get the
  906. kernel finished as soon as possible. Namely, I found a microkernel,
  907. which had been developed by a government funded project at a
  908. university and I said, well let's use that as the bottom layer, and on
  909. top of that we'll develop a collection of user programs, each one to
  910. do a particular kernel service, and they'll communicate by message
  911. passing, which is the feature that the microkernel implements for you.
  912. </p>
  913. <p class="indent">
  914. This is the way, also, that people thought was the cleanest possible
  915. way to design kernels back in 1990. Well, it took many many many
  916. years to get this kernel to run at all, and it still doesn't run well,
  917. and it looks like there may be fundamental problems with this design,
  918. which nobody knew about back in 1990.
  919. </p>
  920. <p class="indent">
  921. Fortunately though, we didn't have to wait for it because in
  922. 1991 a college student in Finland developed another kernel using
  923. the monolithic, traditional design, and he got it to barely run
  924. in less than a year. This kernel, which was called
  925. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Linux</span>&quot;,
  926. initially was not Free Software, however, in 1992, he changed
  927. the licence and adopted a Free Software licence, namely the GNU
  928. General Public License which I had written to use as the licence
  929. for the pieces of GNU that we were developing.
  930. </p>
  931. <p class="indent">
  932. Thus, although Linux was not developed for the GNU project, it was
  933. Free Software at that point in 1992 and thus the combination of the
  934. almost-complete GNU system, and the kernel Linux formed a complete
  935. system. A system that you could actually install in a bare PC, and
  936. for the first time it was possible to run a PC in freedom. The goal
  937. that we had set out for in January 1984 had been achieved.
  938. </p>
  939. <p class="indent">
  940. The development of Linux was an important contribution to the Free
  941. Software community. That was the step that carried us accross the
  942. finish line. Before that, we had many useful programs that people
  943. could install on top of a non-free operating system. Once we had the
  944. last missing piece, we had something you could install replacing the
  945. non-free operating system.
  946. </p>
  947. <p>
  948. [00:55:16]
  949. </p>
  950. <p class="indent">
  951. However, the confusion of thinking that the entire system was Linux,
  952. that it had all been developed by the college student in 1991 has been
  953. extremely harmful to the Free Software movement ever since because it
  954. broke the connection from our software to our philosophy.
  955. </p>
  956. <p class="indent">
  957. Before that time, there was no complete free operating system,
  958. but there were many important parts of one and people would
  959. install them on top of non-free operating systems because they
  960. were not only free but also usually better. And when they did
  961. so, they realised they were installing these GNU programs, so
  962. they thought of themselves as fans or enthusiasts of GNU, and
  963. when they saw the articles that were in some of these packages,
  964. explaining the philosophy of Free Software, the same philosophy
  965. that I've been telling you today, they would think
  966. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Oh, this is the
  967. philosophy behind GNU, and I like GNU, I should read
  968. this.</span>&quot; This didn't mean they would all agree with
  969. us, but at least they would pay attention to the arguments.
  970. They would give it serious consideration. So we had a chance to
  971. convince them, and if we did convince them, then they would feel
  972. a motivation to contribute to Free Software, to contribute to
  973. GNU. So the software spread the philosophy, and the philosophy
  974. extended the software.
  975. </p>
  976. <p class="indent">
  977. Once people started using more-or-less the entire GNU system, and
  978. thinking it was Linux, then, using the GNU system no longer lead
  979. people to our philosophy - that I've told you today, the philosophy of
  980. the Free Software movement - instead it lead people to look at the
  981. philosophy of the developer of Linux.
  982. </p>
  983. <p class="indent">
  984. He has never agreed with the ideals of the Free Software movement.
  985. In fact, he likes to call himself apolitical.
  986. </p>
  987. <p>
  988. [00:57:44]
  989. </p>
  990. <p class="indent">
  991. But, as often happens when people say they are apolitical, in
  992. fact, they are espousing and promoting a particular political
  993. point of view and his political point of view is that the
  994. developer should have total power, the developer can simply
  995. decide whether you have freedom or not and that it's always
  996. wrong to disobey the developer. That is, it's always wrong to
  997. violate any software licence. That's the view he has stated in
  998. the past.
  999. </p>
  1000. <p class="indent">
  1001. And when people think that the whole system is his work, they
  1002. tend to look to him for guidance in these ethical questions as
  1003. well. So we see the unpleasant situation that a system which is
  1004. mainly our work is leading people to follow views that are the
  1005. opposite of ours because the system is incorrectly attributed to
  1006. somebody else. And this is why I pay attention to the issue so
  1007. much. This is why I ask you, please call the system GNU+Linux
  1008. or GNU/Linux. Please don't call it Linux. It's not just unfair
  1009. to the system's principal developers if you call it by a
  1010. different name, it also leads people not to think about freedom.
  1011. </p>
  1012. <p class="indent">
  1013. And that's really dangerous because history shows us that
  1014. freedom is never guaranteed to be secure. And we don't have to
  1015. look very far back in history. Just look at the history of the
  1016. United States in recent years to see how people can lose their
  1017. freedom. Life always keeps handing you opportunities to lose
  1018. your freedom. Someone says &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1019. italic;">give me your freedom, and I'll give you this... or
  1020. that... I'll protect you... or I will take care of
  1021. you</span>&quot; or whatever. If you don't appreciate your
  1022. freedom, if you don't appreciate it very strongly, you will lose
  1023. it. A fool and his freedom are soon parted.
  1024. </p>
  1025. <p>
  1026. <span
  1027. id="software-freedom-needs-to-be-widely-understood">(<a
  1028. href="#menu">go
  1029. to menu</a>) [Section: Software freedom needs to be widely understood]</span>
  1030. </p>
  1031. <p class="indent">
  1032. In order for people to defend their freedom, they have to value their
  1033. freedom, they have to appreciate it. And in order for people to
  1034. appreciate and value their freedom, first they have to know what it
  1035. is. In other areas of life, most people have heard of human rights.
  1036. That doesn't mean defending them is easy, but at least we don't have
  1037. to start by teaching people what the concept means. We don't have to
  1038. start by explaining to people what freedom of the press means because
  1039. they've never heard of it before. The concept of freedom of the press
  1040. has had centuries to be developed and spread around the World.
  1041. </p>
  1042. <p class="indent">
  1043. But computing is new. It's only been about ten years that a
  1044. large number of people in most wealthy countries have been using
  1045. computers. And it's only been a few decades that there have
  1046. been computers. So the ideas of what the human rights are that
  1047. go with the use of software are just being developed. The Free
  1048. Software movement says that there are four essential human
  1049. rights for the user of software. This is a new idea. Most
  1050. people who use software have never thought about the question of
  1051. what human rights a software user should have. They have simply
  1052. accepted what they have been told, which is, the human rights
  1053. which a software user is entitled to are: none at all.
  1054. </p>
  1055. <p class="indent">
  1056. That's what the developers of proprietary software give them. That's
  1057. what they see almost everybody accepting. That's what they have done.
  1058. And they have never heard anyone say that there is another idea.
  1059. </p>
  1060. <p class="indent">
  1061. So we actually have to start with step one, which is to tell people
  1062. what it means to have freedom as a user of software. And then we can
  1063. hope that people will value these freedoms enough to defend these
  1064. freedoms so that maybe we can stay free. The future of our community
  1065. depends on what we value, more than anything else.
  1066. </p>
  1067. <p>
  1068. [01:03:27]
  1069. </p>
  1070. <p class="indent">
  1071. And that's why it's so important today to teach people about the
  1072. ideals of the Free Software movement. It's not enough just to
  1073. teach people to use Free Software. Of course I hope that they
  1074. use Free Software, because it's a shame if they're using
  1075. non-free, user-subjugating software. But just to use Free
  1076. Software is not enough if we want to have freedom that will last
  1077. for many years. If we gave everybody that uses computers
  1078. freedom tomorrow, but they didn't know what that freedom was,
  1079. five years from now, many of them would have lost it because
  1080. someone would have said to them &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1081. italic;">I've got a nice program that will make things easier,
  1082. would you like it? Of course, you have to promise not to share
  1083. it, and I won't let you see what's inside, but it's a nice
  1084. program, don't you want it?</span>&quot;
  1085. </p>
  1086. <p class="indent">
  1087. A person who has not learned to think that there is something wrong
  1088. there might say yes. And that means her freedom is partly gone. So,
  1089. it's not enough just to give people freedom. We need to teach people
  1090. to recognise it as freedom so that they can learn to value it and then
  1091. defend it and not let it go. That's what we need if we want to have
  1092. freedom not just tomorrow but permanently.
  1093. </p>
  1094. <p>
  1095. <span
  1096. id="we-urgently-need-people-to-work-on-stage-2">(<a
  1097. href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: We urgently need people to work on &quot;stage 2&quot;]</span>
  1098. </p>
  1099. <p class="indent">
  1100. Many people suggest a two stage solution. They say, first, let's teach
  1101. people to use Free Software, and then, once they're using it, we'll
  1102. teach people to appreciate the freedom.
  1103. </p>
  1104. <p class="indent">
  1105. Well, this two stage solution might work well, if it were properly
  1106. tried, but when people propose this, almost always they go and work on
  1107. stage one. In fact, I've come to recognise that this two stage
  1108. solution idea is really an excuse to work on stage one and ignore
  1109. stage two. Stage two is what I work on. So if you really believe in
  1110. a two stage solution, come join me and work on stage two because the
  1111. problem is that so much of our community has focussed on stage one,
  1112. and so much of our community has talked about practical benefits while
  1113. ignoring freedom, that in fact, at this point, if you start using the
  1114. GNU/Linux system, you may not hear anyone talk about freedom for
  1115. years. In other words, our community has not just begun to forget
  1116. about the goal of freedom, it has almost completely forgotten. With
  1117. the result that now it is a struggle to teach people in our own
  1118. community about the freedom which is the reason why we built this
  1119. community.
  1120. </p>
  1121. <p class="indent">
  1122. Of all the operating systems in history, all except one were developed
  1123. for commercial reasons or technical reasons. GNU was developed for
  1124. the sake of freedom. The users need to know this. And I would like
  1125. to ask you to join in helping to teach them this. This is why I
  1126. dedicate myself now to spreading these ideas of freedom. There are
  1127. more than a million contributors to Free Software now. The community
  1128. doesn't need me that much as a programmer, and besides, I'm getting
  1129. older, I probably can't do it as well as I used to. But there are not
  1130. a million people teaching the users to appreciate the value of freedom
  1131. and the value of specifically the freedom to cooperate in a
  1132. community. This is where we urgently need more people.
  1133. </p>
  1134. <p>
  1135. [01:08:19]
  1136. </p>
  1137. <p>
  1138. <span id="today-we-have-enemies">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Today, we have enemies]</span>
  1139. </p>
  1140. <p class="indent">
  1141. Especially since today, we have something we didn't have before:
  1142. enemies. Powerful enemies. Rich corporations that think they should
  1143. rule the World, and almost do.
  1144. </p>
  1145. <p class="indent">
  1146. We face many kinds of obstacles today. For instance, many hardware
  1147. products do not come with specifications.
  1148. </p>
  1149. <p class="indent">
  1150. In 1984, when I started writing GNU, this idea was almost unheard of.
  1151. Almost unthinkable. Of course when you buy a computer there's manual
  1152. that tells you exactly how to use every thing in the computer. How
  1153. could they possibly sell you a computer and not tell you how to use
  1154. it?
  1155. </p>
  1156. <p class="indent">
  1157. But nowadays that's what some hardware manufacturers do. And
  1158. it's hard to write a free driver for some input-output device
  1159. when you don't know what commands to give to it. Of course, the
  1160. manufacturers say &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">oh,
  1161. this is no problem, we support Linux</span>&quot;. They call
  1162. the system Linux. And they hand you a driver and they say
  1163. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Just use this
  1164. driver</span>&quot;. The only problem is that it's not Free
  1165. Software. It's a binary only program. So you can't change it.
  1166. You can't study what it does. So that's not acceptable.
  1167. </p>
  1168. <p class="indent">
  1169. What we have to do is, on one hand, reverse engineering to figure out
  1170. how to make free drivers. And on the other hand, pressure these
  1171. companies to cooperate with us.
  1172. </p>
  1173. <p class="indent">
  1174. So that we can make Free Software that really uses the
  1175. computer's hardware. This computer has a modem that doesn't
  1176. work. It's a lose-modem. Well, the term they like to use is
  1177. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">winmodem</span>&quot;,
  1178. but I don't want to refer to Microsoft Windows as a win, because
  1179. that's term of praise. So I call it a lose modem.
  1180. </p>
  1181. <p class="indent">
  1182. It's a modem that only works with Windows because part of the job has
  1183. to be done in software and we don't know what that software is
  1184. supposed to, and I think some aspects of it are patented anyway.
  1185. </p>
  1186. <p>
  1187. [01:11:16]
  1188. </p>
  1189. <p class="indent">
  1190. So, I'm told that some of these lose-modems now have Free Software
  1191. support. I don't know the precise details. Today, all of the major
  1192. 3D video accelerator chips fail to work with Free Software because the
  1193. specifications of the chip are secret.
  1194. </p>
  1195. <p>
  1196. <span
  1197. id="we-need-to-stop-wasting-our-market-power">(<a href="#menu">go
  1198. to menu</a>) [Section: We need to stop wasting our market power]</span>
  1199. </p>
  1200. <p class="indent">
  1201. This is an area where our community could exert tremendous
  1202. power. With tens of millions of users, if we were organised, if
  1203. we could say to one company: &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1204. italic;">We're going to boycott you until you start cooperating
  1205. with us, and when you start cooperating, then we're all going to
  1206. buy from you and we're going to boycott them</span>&quot;.
  1207. </p>
  1208. <p class="indent">
  1209. We could make them start treating us decently. But we're not
  1210. organised and most of the people in our community have never heard the
  1211. idea that there is an ethical issue of freedom here. So we waste the
  1212. market power that we have.
  1213. </p>
  1214. <p class="indent">
  1215. And the problems get worse than this. There is an effort going on
  1216. right now, a conspiracy of major companies, to change the design of
  1217. computers in the future so that it will be impossible to write Free
  1218. Software to do many important jobs.
  1219. </p>
  1220. <p>
  1221. [01:13:05]
  1222. </p>
  1223. <p>
  1224. <span id="treacherous-computing">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Treacherous Computing]</span>
  1225. </p>
  1226. <p class="indent">
  1227. This is known by them as &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1228. italic;">Trusted Computing</span>&quot; and by us as
  1229. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Treacherous
  1230. Computing</span>&quot;. Their plan is that software developers
  1231. will be able to trust your computer to obey them instead of you.
  1232. From their point of view it's trusted, from your point of view
  1233. it's treacherous. So which name you choose is a matter of what
  1234. side you're on.
  1235. </p>
  1236. <p class="indent">
  1237. I'm on the side of the users who should be able to control their own
  1238. computers. So I call it Treacherous Computing. This is a very
  1239. dangerous plan, and it's not clear how we can stop it. We just have
  1240. to keep on fighting it out and hope that something will go wrong with
  1241. there plan, because sometimes something goes wrong.
  1242. </p>
  1243. <p>
  1244. <span id="the-dmca-and-eucd-laws">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: The DMCA and EUCD laws]</span>
  1245. </p>
  1246. <p class="indent">
  1247. And there are the laws that are passed that prohibit some Free
  1248. Software. For instance, in the US there are two such laws already.
  1249. One of them is called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it
  1250. essentially gave publishers the power to write their own copyright
  1251. laws.
  1252. </p>
  1253. <p class="indent">
  1254. The idea is that if publishers publish something in encrypted
  1255. format or any other way designed to restrict the user, then
  1256. anything that helps the user escape to freedom, is illegal.
  1257. Thus, for instance, DVDs were designed to restrict the user.
  1258. The video on a DVD is stored in an encyrpted format, and
  1259. initially this encryption was supposed to be secret so that it
  1260. would be impossible ever to write Free Software to watch a DVD.
  1261. But people figured it out, and the result it that a few people
  1262. wrote a free program to watch a DVD. This program is now
  1263. censored in the US. The United States practices censorship of
  1264. software. So, if you are in the United States, and I'm sorry
  1265. for you if you are because you would not have much in the way of
  1266. basic human rights especially as a foreigner, but one right you
  1267. nominally still have is if you buy a DVD, you have a right to
  1268. watch it. But the Free Software that you could use to watch it
  1269. is illegal to distribute. Even telling people where they could
  1270. find it from outside the US is illegal.
  1271. </p>
  1272. <p class="indent">
  1273. Really Orwellian censorship.
  1274. </p>
  1275. <p>
  1276. [01:16:36]
  1277. </p>
  1278. <p class="indent">
  1279. And I'm sad to say that the European Union has adopted a
  1280. directive that is pretty similar. It doesn't go quite as far.
  1281. It only prohibits the commercial distribution of such software.
  1282. That might let us barely squeak by except that just about every
  1283. country, maybe every country, when implementing this directive
  1284. has gone further than necessary, has made it more strict than
  1285. the directive requires. Taking the side of some mega
  1286. corporations against their own citizens. So this becomes a sort
  1287. of picture in the the small of how democracy is endangered by
  1288. the European Union, and how democracy is sick all around the
  1289. World. A government of the people by the people for the people
  1290. wouldn't adopt restrictions like this. Wouldn't criminalise
  1291. millions of their own citizens on behalf of companies, usually
  1292. foreign companies. You have to ask: who are these governments
  1293. really working for? Do they represent their own people, or are
  1294. they the satraps of someone above?
  1295. </p>
  1296. <p class="indent">
  1297. This law only applies in limited areas of what you can do in
  1298. software. It applies to having access to published works. Even
  1299. though this is a narrow subfield of the software field it can still be
  1300. tremendously important. For instance, if millions of people want to
  1301. watch DVDs on their computer, and they can't do this with Free
  1302. Software, in fact they can't legally get a program to do this on a
  1303. free operating system, many of them might use non-free operating
  1304. systems and non-Free Software just for that reason alone. So even
  1305. though it's just one application out of the thousands that software
  1306. can have, it can be very important in practice.
  1307. </p>
  1308. <p>
  1309. <span id="software-patents">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Software patents]</span>
  1310. </p>
  1311. <p class="indent">
  1312. The other law that prohibits many kinds of Free Software can
  1313. actually apply to any kind of software, and that's patent law,
  1314. which I spoke about yesterday
  1315. [<a
  1316. href="http://mjesec.ffzg.hr/~dpavlin/stallman2006/dangers_of_software_patents_zagreb_08_march_2006.ogg">link
  1317. to audio file</a>]. Patent law is a threat to all software
  1318. developers. Patent law means that you can write a program and
  1319. then you can get sued because of the code that you wrote
  1320. yourself. Copyright law can't do this. If you write the code,
  1321. you or your employer have the copyright. Which means nobody
  1322. else does. So there's no danger someone else can sue you for
  1323. copyright infringement because of the code that you wrote. But
  1324. patents are totally different from copyright.
  1325. </p>
  1326. <p>
  1327. [01:20:07]
  1328. </p>
  1329. <p class="indent">
  1330. Patents cover ideas, techniques, features, methods - not the code
  1331. itself. And when you write code, you are implementing lots of
  1332. different techniques, methods, features, ideas. Any one of them could
  1333. be patented by somebody. In fact, fifty of them could be patented by
  1334. fifty different patent holder and then they could all threaten to sue
  1335. you, separately.
  1336. </p>
  1337. <p class="indent">
  1338. All software developers are threatened by this, but most software
  1339. developers are only trying to have some successful products. We are
  1340. trying to serve all of the user's computing needs in freedom. Our
  1341. goal is that all software should be free, that all users should be
  1342. able to do whatever they want to do and keep their freedom. Our goal
  1343. is to provide people with Free Software for every job so that nobody
  1344. ever faces the choice: either I keep my freedom or I do this job with
  1345. my computer today.
  1346. </p>
  1347. <p class="indent">
  1348. It's sort of sad. This shows how little people value their freedom.
  1349. People find themselves, they have some reason to do a certain job,
  1350. it's attractive, it's appealing, it might make some money. And just
  1351. for that they give up their freedom. So sad.
  1352. </p>
  1353. <p>
  1354. [01:21:50]
  1355. </p>
  1356. <p class="indent">
  1357. Since we can't expect most people to value their freedom enough
  1358. to say &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">I'm willing to
  1359. not do this job because my freedom is more important to me than
  1360. doing this particular computer use</span>&quot;, our goal is to
  1361. give them a free program that will do that job. And then they
  1362. have an easy choice. They can reject the non-free program and
  1363. use the free program instead.
  1364. </p>
  1365. <p class="indent">
  1366. Every time there is some job that Free Software can't do, that's a big
  1367. problem.
  1368. </p>
  1369. <p>
  1370. <span id="more-legislative-battles">(<a href="#menu">go to
  1371. menu</a>) [Section: More legislative battles to come]</span>
  1372. </p>
  1373. <p class="indent">
  1374. But these two laws are not enough. New ones are being
  1375. considered all the time. For instance, WIPO, the World
  1376. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Intellectual
  1377. Property</span>&quot; Organisation, is now working on a treaty
  1378. that would make it illegal to make any receiver for digital
  1379. television that's encrypted, that the users can modify.
  1380. </p>
  1381. <p class="indent">
  1382. In other words, for the first time, the idea would be to actually
  1383. single out the fact that something is Free Software as a reason to
  1384. prohibit it. This is how much they hate our freedoms.
  1385. </p>
  1386. <p class="indent">
  1387. So today it's not enough just to write software and have fun. Of
  1388. course we still need people to do that, and we have many people doing
  1389. that, but we need also to organise politically to keep our freedoms,
  1390. to organise against the frequent campaigns to take away one freedom or
  1391. another. And the European Union has been generally very willing to
  1392. adopt directives taking away its citizens freedom on behalf of the
  1393. movie companies and the record companies.
  1394. </p>
  1395. <p>
  1396. [01:24:27]
  1397. </p>
  1398. <p class="indent">
  1399. We have a big fight on our hands and there's no way of telling whether
  1400. we can win. And that means we have to fight. I hope that you will
  1401. help in this fight.
  1402. </p>
  1403. <p>
  1404. <span id="free-software-and-schools">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)
  1405. [Section: Free Software and schools]</span>
  1406. </p>
  1407. <p class="indent">
  1408. It's vital for schools to use Free Software exclusively. The reason
  1409. is: schools have a mission to teach society to be capable, to educate
  1410. people to be parts of a capable, free society. Teaching students to
  1411. use proprietary software is teaching dependence. It's training them
  1412. to be dependent on specific powerful companies. Giving those
  1413. companies more power over society. Whereas, teaching them to use Free
  1414. Software, is directing society onto the path towards freedom and
  1415. strength. So schools must stop teaching proprietary software.
  1416. </p>
  1417. <p class="indent">
  1418. But there's an even stronger reason for this. And even deeper
  1419. reason. And that is, for moral education. Schools have to teach
  1420. children the spirit of good will, the spirit of helping other people
  1421. around them in society. So every class should have a rule: children,
  1422. if you bring software to class, you can't keep it for yourself, you
  1423. must share it with the other kids, and if you won't share it, you
  1424. can't bring it here because the way we do things is we help each
  1425. other.
  1426. </p>
  1427. <p class="indent">
  1428. The school, in order to teach this properly, has to follow its own
  1429. rule. It has to set a good example. This means the school must bring
  1430. only Free Software to class.
  1431. </p>
  1432. <p>
  1433. <span id="st-ignucius-and-the-church-of-emacs">(<a href="#menu">go
  1434. to menu</a>) [Section: St. IGNUcius and the Church of Emacs]</span>
  1435. </p>
  1436. <p class="indent">
  1437. Sometimes people have accused me of having a holier-than-thou
  1438. attitude. I don't think that's true. When I encounter somebody who
  1439. is not doing all that he could do to encourage our freedom, I don't
  1440. look to attack that person, I look to encourage that person to do
  1441. more.
  1442. </p>
  1443. <p class="indent">
  1444. However, I do have a <span style="font-style:
  1445. italic;">holy</span> attitude, because I'm a saint. It's my job
  1446. to be holy.
  1447. </p>
  1448. <p>
  1449. [Stallman dons a robe and puts a 16-inch disk on his head]
  1450. </p>
  1451. <p>
  1452. [applause]
  1453. </p>
  1454. <p class="indent">
  1455. I am Saint IGNUcius...
  1456. </p>
  1457. <p>
  1458. [laughter]
  1459. </p>
  1460. <p class="indent">
  1461. ...of the Church of Emacs. I bless your computer my child. Emacs
  1462. started out as a text editor, which became a way of life for many
  1463. users because they could do all there work on a computer while never
  1464. exiting from Emacs, and ultimately it became a religion as well.
  1465. Today, we even have a great schism between two rival versions of
  1466. Emacs, and we even have saints. But fortunately, no Gods. Instead of
  1467. Gods, we worship an editor.
  1468. </p>
  1469. <p class="indent">
  1470. To be a member of the Church of Emacs, you must recite the confession
  1471. of the faith, you must say: there is no system but GNU, and Linux is
  1472. one of its kernels.
  1473. </p>
  1474. <p>
  1475. [laughter]
  1476. </p>
  1477. <p class="indent">
  1478. The Church of Emacs has certain advantages compared with other
  1479. churches I won't name. For instance, to be a saint in the Church of
  1480. Emacs does not require celibacy. So if you have been searching for a
  1481. church to be a saint in, you might consider ours. However it does
  1482. require living a life of moral purity. You must exorcise any evil
  1483. proprietary operating systems that possess any of the computers under
  1484. your control, and then install a wholly/holy free operating system,
  1485. and then only install Free Software on top of that. If you make this
  1486. vow and live by it then you too will be a saint and you too may have a
  1487. halo - if you can find one because they don't make them anymore.
  1488. </p>
  1489. <p class="indent">
  1490. Sometimes people ask me whether it is a sin in the Church of Emacs to
  1491. use the other text editor vi. Well, it's true that vi vi vi is the
  1492. editor of the beast, but using a free version of vi is not a sin, it's
  1493. a penance.
  1494. </p>
  1495. <p>
  1496. [laughter]
  1497. </p>
  1498. <p class="indent">
  1499. And sometimes people ask me if my halo is really an old computer
  1500. disk. This is no computer disk, this is my halo. But, it was a
  1501. computer disk in a previous existence.
  1502. </p>
  1503. <p>
  1504. [laughter]
  1505. </p>
  1506. <p class="indent">
  1507. So, thank you, and now, I will answer questions for a while.
  1508. </p>
  1509. <p>
  1510. [applause]
  1511. </p>
  1512. <p id="q1">
  1513. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1514. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1</span>: I'm interested in
  1515. hearing your opinion on the relationship between Mono and GNOME.
  1516. </p>
  1517. <p class="indent">
  1518. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Mono
  1519. is a free implementation of Microsoft's language C#. Microsoft
  1520. has declared itself our enemy and we know that Microsoft is
  1521. getting patents on some features of C#. So I think it's
  1522. dangerous to use C#, and it may be dangerous to use Mono.
  1523. There's nothing wrong with Mono. Mono is a free implementation
  1524. of a language that users use. It's good to provide free
  1525. implementations. We should have free implementations of every
  1526. language. But, depending on it is dangerous, and we better not
  1527. do that.
  1528. </p>
  1529. <p id="q2">
  1530. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1531. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q2</span>: What is your view on
  1532. other licences, other than the GPL? Such as BSD style licences?
  1533. </p>
  1534. <p class="indent">
  1535. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well,
  1536. there's no such thing as &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1537. italic;">BSD style licences</span>&quot;. There are two
  1538. different BSD licences, and they're both Free Software licences,
  1539. but there's an important difference between them. If you use
  1540. the term &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">BSD
  1541. style</span>&quot;, you are overlooking the difference. For
  1542. more information,
  1543. see <a
  1544. href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html">www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html</a>.
  1545. It explains the issue.
  1546. </p>
  1547. <p class="indent">
  1548. However, both of those licences are Free Software licences. Both of
  1549. them grant the four essential freedoms, which means they're both
  1550. basically ethical.
  1551. </p>
  1552. <p class="indent">
  1553. One of them has a significant practical drawback, and the other does
  1554. not. I convinced Berkley to change its licence to get rid of the
  1555. practical drawback. And by the way, the reason that the BSD
  1556. developers started making their code free was at least partly due to
  1557. the visit that I paid to them in 1984 or 1985, because I wanted to be
  1558. able to use some of their code in GNU. So I asked them, because at
  1559. that time, BSD existed, it was a version of Unix, and you had to show
  1560. them an AT&amp;T source licence in order to get a copy of BSD.
  1561. </p>
  1562. <p class="indent">
  1563. So I told them: you are effectively donating your labour, your work,
  1564. to a company. It's not even a charity, and you're donating to it.
  1565. Why don't you separate your code from AT&amp;T's code, and that way you
  1566. could make your code free. I did this because there were parts that I
  1567. knew were their work, and I figured this way we would get to use them
  1568. in GNU and we would more quickly have a free operating system.
  1569. </p>
  1570. <p class="indent">
  1571. The website <a href="http://www.gnu.org/">www.gnu.org</a> is the place
  1572. to look for information about GNU and Free Software. There is also a
  1573. site <a href="http://fsf.org/">fsf.org</a> for information about the
  1574. Free Software Foundation.
  1575. </p>
  1576. <p id="q3">
  1577. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1578. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3</span>: As part of a
  1579. community that develops a piece of software, there is a problem
  1580. with some of the users of that software, they simply develop it
  1581. further but they do not release their source code.
  1582. </p>
  1583. <p class="indent">
  1584. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: What
  1585. does this program do?
  1586. </p>
  1587. <p>
  1588. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3b</span>: This program is an
  1589. emulator for an MORPG
  1590. </p>
  1591. <p class="indent">
  1592. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: In
  1593. general, there is nothing wrong with a person adapting a
  1594. program, and using it privately...
  1595. </p>
  1596. <p>
  1597. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3c</span>: But they released only binaries.
  1598. </p>
  1599. <p class="indent">
  1600. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Oh,
  1601. well then they're violating the licence. The developers need to
  1602. talk to a lawyer, and you can sue them.
  1603. </p>
  1604. <p>
  1605. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3d</span>: The problem is that
  1606. they are scattered all around the World.
  1607. </p>
  1608. <p class="indent">
  1609. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well,
  1610. that doesn't necessarily matter. Don't take a defeatist
  1611. attitude. A few of the main developers, instead of talking
  1612. about how hopeless it is, should talk to a lawyer, for instance,
  1613. the Software Freedom Law Centre. For instance, when they do
  1614. this to the Free Software Foundation, we make them comply.
  1615. </p>
  1616. <p class="indent">
  1617. We vigorously enforce the GNU General Public License, and the reason
  1618. we do it is that when people are violating the GPL, that generally
  1619. means that some users are losing their freedom. So to protect their
  1620. freedom, we enforce the licence. We use the same weapons, namely
  1621. copyright law, that other people use to take away others freedom,
  1622. except we use this to defend people's freedom, and that's what makes
  1623. it legitimate.
  1624. </p>
  1625. <p>
  1626. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3e</span>: So, we should be
  1627. able to fight all of these kids all around the World using this
  1628. weapon?
  1629. </p>
  1630. <p class="indent">
  1631. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I
  1632. don't know. Are they all kids?
  1633. </p>
  1634. <p>
  1635. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3f</span>: They are mostly kids.
  1636. </p>
  1637. <p class="indent">
  1638. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Then
  1639. it will be easy.
  1640. </p>
  1641. <p>
  1642. [laughter, applause]
  1643. </p>
  1644. <p>
  1645. [01:38:46]
  1646. </p>
  1647. <p id="q4">
  1648. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1649. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4</span>: There is a common
  1650. confusion about freedom number three, some people think there is
  1651. an obligation to publish all modifications, maybe it is worth
  1652. adding a sentence or two to your speeches to clarify this.
  1653. </p>
  1654. <p class="indent">
  1655. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well
  1656. that's why I say: the freedom to distribute modifications when
  1657. you wish. I put in the &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1658. italic;">when you wish</span>&quot; to try to correct that
  1659. confusion. There's just so many things I need to say, and there
  1660. wasn't time for them all. I left out a lot of things. You're
  1661. right, it's just that there are many other misunderstandings I
  1662. didn't correct today. There's too much to be said to fit, I
  1663. just do the best I can. You're right, but what can I do.
  1664. </p>
  1665. <p id="q5">
  1666. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1667. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5</span>: Does your halo [a
  1668. large, old computer disk] contain proprietary software?
  1669. </p>
  1670. <p class="indent">
  1671. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Not
  1672. any more. Once there are fingerprints on it, I don't think
  1673. anything's going to be able to read it.
  1674. </p>
  1675. <p id="q6">
  1676. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1677. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q6</span>: Can you comment on
  1678. the Creative Commons licence?
  1679. </p>
  1680. <p class="indent">
  1681. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: The
  1682. thing is, it's meaningless to talk about Creative Commons
  1683. licence. The bad thing about Creative Commons is that it has
  1684. produced a broad series of licences that have nothing in common.
  1685. In fact, if you look at these licences and determine what is the
  1686. freedom that is common to all these licences, the answer is:
  1687. nothing.
  1688. </p>
  1689. <p class="indent">
  1690. This is a problem because the reason why I would want to support such
  1691. a thing is because it recognises the important freedoms, and
  1692. initially, when Creative Commons got started, all of its licences
  1693. recognised a certain minimum freedom which is also the freedom that I
  1694. believe everyone is entitled to for works of art and opinion, namely,
  1695. the freedom to non-commercial distribute exact copies of the work.
  1696. That is, at the time I believed, the minimum freedom that everyone
  1697. should always have for all kinds of works.
  1698. </p>
  1699. <p class="indent">
  1700. Larry Lessig has sort of convinced me that there is another essential
  1701. freedom, which is, what he calls, remix. Which is the freedom to take
  1702. parts of various works and change them and put them together into
  1703. another work that is quite different overall and makes a different
  1704. point, and so on. But in the US, that's usually going to be fair use,
  1705. so I didn't see a need to talk about that so much.
  1706. </p>
  1707. <p class="indent">
  1708. But in any case, the initial Creative Commons licences all recognised
  1709. the freedom to non commercially distribute exact copies of the whole
  1710. work. But then, they developed some more licences which don't give
  1711. you that freedom. In fact, there're some licences which give me no
  1712. freedom at all, because I'm in developed country, and that probably
  1713. applies to you too.
  1714. </p>
  1715. <p class="indent">
  1716. Because of that, those licences I consider unacceptable. There
  1717. is no legitimate use of those licences. However, the problem
  1718. is, Creative Commons functions in a way that encourages people
  1719. to lump it all together. They don't encourage people to look at
  1720. these different licences and think about them individually.
  1721. Instead they promote the brand &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1722. italic;">Creative Commons</span>&quot;. So you'll see lots of
  1723. people saying &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">Let's use a
  1724. Creative Commons licence for this</span>&quot;, or
  1725. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">please contribute to our
  1726. project, we're using a Creative Commons licence</span>&quot;.
  1727. And they think they have told you something substantial, and
  1728. many people read that and they think that they have been told
  1729. something substantial, and in fact, they have been told nothing
  1730. - about what freedoms users will have in using that work.
  1731. </p>
  1732. <p class="indent">
  1733. This is why I can't support Creative Commons at all. Because the way
  1734. they've set it up, you either support all of it or none of it, and for
  1735. me that means it has to be none of it.
  1736. </p>
  1737. <p class="indent">
  1738. I've asked them to split it up into two activities with different
  1739. names and different brands. And then I could support one of them and
  1740. not the other. I would be glad to do that if they made it possible to
  1741. do that.
  1742. </p>
  1743. <p class="indent">
  1744. So what this shows is a basic philosophical difference between
  1745. Creative Commons and the Free Software movement. Creative Commons may
  1746. have been in some sense inspired by the Free Software movement, but it
  1747. isn't similar to the Free Software movement. The Free Software
  1748. movement starts by saying: these are the essential freedoms, everyone
  1749. should have these freedoms, we're going to work to establish and
  1750. defend these freedoms. Creative Commons doesn't say anything like
  1751. that. Creative Commons talks about helping copyright holders exercise
  1752. their power flexibly. A totally different philosophical orientation.
  1753. </p>
  1754. <p class="indent">
  1755. So it's no surprise that they don't have a list of essential
  1756. freedoms. At the beginning, I thought they effectively did.
  1757. It's true they didn't explicitly say
  1758. &quot;<span style="font-style: italic;">This is the freedom we
  1759. intend to defend</span>&quot;, but from their actions, it looked
  1760. like they were defending it, and I thought that was good enough.
  1761. But because it was not really their intention, they changed
  1762. their practices, and now, even in a purely practical sense, they
  1763. don't defend this minimum freedom, and that's a terrible thing.
  1764. </p>
  1765. <p>
  1766. [01:46:07]
  1767. </p>
  1768. <p id="q7">
  1769. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1770. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7</span>: Do you know of any
  1771. organisations that do support this approach - unlike Creative
  1772. Commons?
  1773. </p>
  1774. <p class="indent">
  1775. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Not
  1776. really. There are some &quot;<span style="font-style:
  1777. italic;">free culture</span>&quot; organisations, which are
  1778. trying to go even further and they're trying to encourage the
  1779. making of art that is free in the full sense of the same four
  1780. freedoms.
  1781. </p>
  1782. <p id="q8">
  1783. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1784. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q8</span>: Shouldn't Free
  1785. Software be more expensive than proprietary software, since it's
  1786. more valuable?
  1787. </p>
  1788. <p class="indent">
  1789. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I don't know
  1790. what that would mean, sorry. To ask whether software is cheap or
  1791. expensive, is actually making a number of hidden assumptions. In the
  1792. proprietary software world, because people are forbidden to copy the
  1793. program, usually, there's only one place from which copies can be
  1794. legally obtained. So, you can then ask, how much does that one source
  1795. of copies charge for a copy. So it's a meaningful question, although
  1796. the answer might be: this much today over here and that much tomorrow
  1797. over there. There's not necessarily an answer to that question.
  1798. </p>
  1799. <p class="indent">
  1800. But with Free Software, because people have freedom, everyone is free
  1801. to make copies. So there are many places you can get a copy, and any
  1802. one of them could offer to give you a copy or could offer to sell you
  1803. a copy. So there is no one price.
  1804. </p>
  1805. <p class="indent">
  1806. But Free Software is an issue of freedom, not price. The price
  1807. question is secondary. People are free to buy and sell copies, but
  1808. that's just because people should be free. The price issue is not
  1809. what I care about.
  1810. </p>
  1811. <p>
  1812. [End of session, applause]
  1813. </p>
  1814. <h2 id="links-for-further-reading">Links for further reading</h2>
  1815. <ul>
  1816. <li>
  1817. &quot;<a
  1818. href="http://www.ifso.ie/documents/rms-2004-05-24.html">The
  1819. Dangers of Software Patents&quot;</a>&quot;, by Richard
  1820. Stallman (transcript)
  1821. </li>
  1822. <li>
  1823. &quot;<a
  1824. href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/copyright-and-globalization.html">Copyright
  1825. vs. Community in the age of computer networks</a>&quot;, by
  1826. Richard Stallman (transcript)
  1827. </li>
  1828. <li>
  1829. &quot;<a href="../campaigns/gplv3/tokyo-rms-transcript.html">GPLv3 - an
  1830. overview of the changes</a>&quot;, by Richard Stallman
  1831. (transcript)
  1832. </li>
  1833. <li>
  1834. &quot;<a href="eur5greve.html">European perspectives and work of the FSFE</a>&quot;, by Georg Greve
  1835. </li>
  1836. </ul>
  1837. </body>
  1838. </html>