The Return of Stallman


Richard M. Stallman (RMS), the man behind GNU project and Free Software is making a comeback as a board of director of Free Software Foundation (FSF). He was forced to resigned two years ago because of his underage sex remarks. As a result of that, many people express their disagreement with an open letter.

One thing that I found amusing is the Board of Directors of Open Source Initiative (OSI) made an open statement to reject Stallman. 

Whew, the world surely has changed!

There is a reason why Stallman created the term Free Software and make it a separated term from Open Source. When Eric Raymond founded OSI, he wants to make companies joined the Open Source. They also looked for more relaxed software license that could incorporated an open source library into their own proprietary software.

That's why, OSI embraced BSD, MIT and Apache clauses as a part of open source.

However, free software have one mission, to promote four freedoms:

User should have the right to have source code of the software they use. They have the right to study it. And the modified software should also include the source code if it's given to other user. Last, the modified software should be able to run on its intended machine (anti-tivoization).  [NOTE: The last line was in the first line of four freedoms by FSF. It is Freedom #0.]

The story behind this was simple, a printer donated by Xerox was having a bug in its queue system. Young Stallman has an urge to fix it. However, the software source code was never released. Even if he had the solution, he didn't have the ability to implement that solution.

A perfectly functioning machine was held down by software. 

Do you think this rings a bell?

Yes, this is an ongoing struggle now American farmers and few others to have Right to Repair law on the United States. 

This is also an on-going behaviour on automotive world. BMW and Tesla has a software locked features that can be unlocked with additional purchase. It's like a DLC but the functions already there.

I know Stallman, the farmers and automotive owners have different interests. Stallman wants a full control over the software that control the machine. The farmers want to have access to software diagnostics and automotive owners want full access to all of their cars.

They have one desire:

They want to have total ownership of the hardware they purchase.

Like the old days. 

The hardware that you buy can be used however you want because it is yours. None should stop you to use it differently.

Nowadays, however, company put terms and condition to the hardware they sold. The software is there to ban user from using the hardware not intended to the company's policy. Even if it's not against the law.

Now, my question remains:

Who owned the hardware?

Is it you or the company that sold the hardware?

I irked on the idea that in the not so distant feature, the term "buy" actually lease.

This is why I think the free software movement is needed more than ever. We are now being constrained by technology. We depend more and more to it. We should have the leeway to not enable companies that own the technology to dictate how we behave.

We need an extremist that fight zealously and would not be abide by the way companies swing the masses. An extremist that would balance from the left side.

Unfortunately, only RMS fill the ticks.

I have met that guy. He had a strong stand against social media. That was why, he didn't use it. He was also against DRM. He was against websites that put Javascript and cookies that tracked people.

Do you know how he got the information?

He got a script that would download interweb articles and email that to him. He will use his laptop to download that articles. Those are all in the terminal (command prompt).

In the old day, he said there was a person who would also emailed him about things.

Can you imagine now why he was so backward thinking and misogynistic?

His zealotry in free software movement makes him miss the world events.

I wish there are people that would stand up in FSF like him. People that have cleaner history. Unfortunately, I don't see anyone.

I don't always agree with RMS other views and behaviours. They sometimes distasteful. I mean, he ate something from his bare food on a conference. 

OMG, twas a gross moment that I wish to forget. LOL!

However, we need Stallman to be an extremist on technology. We need him to keep corporations in-check. Technology is now a part of humanity and these people who want to have positive stocks don't know the consequences of introducing constraints to the society.

Look at Disney that want to keep Mickey Mouse (Steamboat Willy) as their copyright. They wet their hands on Copyright law. Because of that, public domain are no longer available in the 21st century. How ironic! They make billions of dollars from public domain stories.

It seems Disney has a great concern over their work. However, what they do affecting the society as a whole. The consequences far than just a black and white movie. It spans to other works beyond the silver screen.

I'm not trying to bash Disney here. 

I hope you get the idea. Companies driven by quartal reports are like three years old children playing on the kitchen. They need to be supervised or else they would done something that harms the whole humanity.


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