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When Stallman is Attacked 562

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the problem-with-zealots dept.
writes "Linux Tech Daily has an editorial slamming a recent Forbes.com attack piece on Richard Stallman and GPLv3. Loved or hated, do you agree with the author that the piece is FUD and completely unprofessional? Love him or hate him, is this unfair treatment of rms? Does he leave himself open to these kinds of attacks with his behavior?" The problem with the editorial of course is that many of the points made in the original Forbes piece are completely valid and true. So basically you get to choose between the linux zealot, and a writer who is obviously fairly hostile towards Stallman's ideas.
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When Stallman is Attacked

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  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:02PM (#16595878) Homepage Journal
    I don't mean this as flamebait but isn't RMS irrelevant already? Back when it needed a knowledgable geek champion who understood the situation at the time, RMS was great.

    Since that time it appears that the real world operates on a different set of rules than RMS's "Free no matter what" and reality be damned.

    Forgive me for not being so knowledgable but it does seem like RMS's ego is now driving the train.

    None of this diminishes RMS' contribution but some may think his time as a cult of personality is over.

    Yeah,..mod me down now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:37PM (#16596584)
    Irrelevant to whom? You paint Stallman as if he were only an asset to open source
    advocacy. To me Stallman is another Chomsky. He might not be intelligent or even right
    but by god the man has the balls to say it like it is and point out the obvious
    directions we are heading in. In a world of weak, spineless, cowardly appeasers and
    appologists that is a heroic quality on its own.
  • by MECC (8478) * on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:39PM (#16596638)
    I can see your point, and no doubt rms probably rubbed the guy the wrong way at some point. Even so, for Forbes to publish an article that basically calls someone a fat booger-picking asshole can't exactly polish their image as a publication of journalistic integrity. Even a lay-person can't help but get that impression from ingesting the string of third-grader descriptives found in the article. I would have thought that at least an editor would know what ad hominem is.

  • Re:Another interview (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FictionPimp (712802) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:49PM (#16596834) Homepage
    I found this amusing.
  • by mschuyler (197441) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:10PM (#16597272) Homepage Journal
    I've just read every post on this topic. The serious ones are either for or against Forbes and Stallman all four ways that can happen, with not much support for Forbes. Fine, okay so far.

    But this reminds me of a fundamentalist Christian having a conversation with a committed Atheist. Forbes and slashdot are two different worlds inhabited by people with completely different views on reality. It's not surprising Slashdot readers disagree with Forbes; it would be surprising if they did not. But by and large Forbes readers agree with Forbes. And by and large, Forbes readers run the companies slashdot readers work for.

    Now this is just one editorial, but it reflects a point of view that will become, I would guess, more prevalent as companies begin to take a hard look at just what they've gotten themselves into. The one thing the editorial does well is lay out the case in a way that is understandable: Socialist engineering by a radical. Uh oh! That's all I need to know. Any company executive looking into this issue is likely to come away with the idea that Stallman and GPL are bad news and that the company cannot afford to get close to either. Without even getting into the idea of social engineering by software, the controversy alone makes the uncertainity of the GPL path more than just a niggling worry. It becomes a feduciary responsibility to avoid it. To knowingly jump into version three is grounds for heads to roll.

    Many "people's revolutions" such as the French or the Russian, for example, wind up fragmenting as some people want to be more equal than others. Neither Trotsky or Robespierre survived the zealotry they helped create. It will be interesting to see if the "Open Source Revolution" can survive this, or whether it will shoot itself in the foot while people such as, oh, Microsoft, for example, stand on the sidelines with their arms folded, and big grins on their faces.

    It seems to me that it is time for the Open Source "Community" to prove they can do it.
  • It's a valid article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NineNine (235196) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:37PM (#16597830)
    What the Forbes article comes down to is telling people that if you want to use OSS, then the leader is this nutjob. Knowing that, do you want to use software that is being driven, or at least led by this guy? Do you want to invest your business in this guy? I own a small business. I knew most of this before the article, but as somebody who owns a business that relies on software, I would have to say, "No, I'm not going to trust my livelihood and the livelihood of my employees with software being driven by this nutjob." It's that simple.
  • Re:True of false? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by newt0311 (973957) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:53PM (#16598122)
    just out of curiosity, what exactly is the difference between emacs and xemacs other than the fact the xemacs is a fork of emacs.
  • Re:True of false? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nutshell42 (557890) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:12PM (#16598492) Journal
    Between the weak and the strong one it is the freedom which oppresses and the law that liberates (Jean Jacques Rousseau)
  • by civilizedINTENSITY (45686) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:01PM (#16600546)
    Agreed that morality issues tend to polarize, almost by definition. Most moralists intend to polarize, and there are those who even feed off of the exclusion that polarization provides. I see rms in terms of ethics, rather than morality. I don't think rms would ever say, "its right/wrong because authority says so", but rather rms lays out arguements for a system of ethics based on principles that are almost used like axioms. Maybe his AI background at work there.
  • by Roblimo (357) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @05:36PM (#16601116) Homepage Journal
    I have watched a clean, neatly-attired Richard Stallman totally charm a group of mostly female Commerce Department lawyers while speaking against an intellectual property treaty.

    I mean "charm" to the point where the lawyer-ladies surrounded him while we all ate lunch on the lawn of the Library of Congress building in Washington, DC.

    While I do not always (or even necessarily often) agree with Mr. Stallman, I have usually found him to be intelligent, interesting, and good company.

    As far as anyone who talks about Eben Moglen being a "dirty hippie" or some such: Prof. Moglen is one of the best-dressed people you'll ever meet at a FOSS gathering, and one of the best speakers, too.

    You can truthfully criticize RMS for being an unyielding prick who often gets irritated by little things (I, for one, think his GNU/Linux insistence is both childish and a waste of time -- and I've told him so a number of times), but he has more charisma and sheer brainpower than most other people I've met in my life.

    Besides, he helped Marty Connor get accepted by the MIT crowd, so we might say that without RMS Marty might today be managing a multiplex movie theater in Pittsburgh, and that would have been a huge waste of IT talent.

    - Robin

     
  • Re:True of false? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dircha (893383) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:40PM (#16604440)
    But the GPL's strings are undoubtedly freedom promoting. The same can't be said of the proprietary licenses you cite. And, I would argue, puts it in a position to be more freedom promoting than BSD like licenses, likely resulting in greater net freedom.

    One of the objectives of the GPL (from the recommendation of use of GPL vs LGPL) is the production of valuable GPLd components and libraries to give software producers incentive to produce free software, where they might otherwise take proprietary, LGPL, or BSD like software or libraries and produce propietary software.

    In fact, in many cases the presence of a BSD-like licensed solution works at counter purposes to the GPL.

    Given the choice of BSD and GPL components or libraries of similar quality, many organizations will choose the BSD component. They choose the BSD component because they want to use the component to produce proprietary software - either as a requirement of their business model or to keep secrets from their users or competitors.

    If however the BSD component were not available, the company would choose either a proprietary component and produce wholly proprietary software - in which case the community would lose nothing - or perhaps they would be persuaded by the value provided by the GPL component to choose to integrate it and thereby to produce more free software.
  • Re:True of false? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pecisk (688001) on Friday October 27, 2006 @09:20AM (#16607916)
    Disclaimer: I am serious Linux and GNU and GPL fan.

    BUT I am saying that you no have any clue what you are talking about.

    Stallman CAN'T DECIDE what is "freedom" for me, because it is VERY SUBJECTIVE WORD. All what he was done good was claiming minimal sets of "freedoms" in his GPLv2 licence. NOW what he wants is to impose NON-FREEDOMS, thinking, that in that way he will keep us all free. It is messing with his own version, just because he feels @!$#@%^^ by DRM and Patents.

    Patents and DRM are bad, but GPL with restrictions on them are fucked up, perverted version of "freedom", not original, balansed one which was old version.

    People want to have a freedom to watch Flash files. To watch WMA files. To use their video cards. Don't like it? Screw you, it is their version of "freedom".

    Don't take this personal, but Stallman really doesn't know what freedom really means for others.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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