I believe you're making a gross assumption by picking apart a minor error in my post. Most people use IP as shorthand. Normally I would have said copyright and patent law. I, in fact, have consider the problem very deeply. Many years ago I wrote one of the first petitions against software patents:
http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/hearings/ip/221258.htm (mentioned here in a FTC report on the effect of patents)
PetitionOnline.com has since been closed down, so I used the wayback machine to find it. :) I wrote it along with RMS and a few others. So, I have more than a passing understanding on the subject.
The issue with the FSF is that it is a political organization and doesn't give a crap about the quality of the software they release. This is the main reason why they haven't been able to release a decent kernel in the last 20 years and the reason why so many FSF projects are either very fringe or are utter failures. Not considering the command line tools such as ls and sed etc, the only projects which are truly successful in the GNU-land are gcc, gdb, emacs and very few others. Other than that the FSF's work is largely shunned by the community at large... see GNUstep and many others.
What RMS doesn't want is a threat to what he sees as his privileged place in the community. Compilers are hard. When gcc was first written it was a monumental achievement.... but gcc was also crippled as described in my earlier post.
I am not ascribing any motivations or priorities on RMS that he hasn't expressed all by himself. I have been part of the FSF on the GNUstep project for almost 17 years. I have spoken to him on many occasions and met him a few times in person. While I don't pretend to know him very well, I do know enough regarding his motivations not to have to make assumptions regarding them. Richard has said in the past that the FSF is political organization, not a technical one. Thus the quality of software can be sacrificed in the name of freedom. While in my youth I may have agreed with this point, I find it harder and harder to do so as I get older. I see software as an essential part of life. It should be open and free, but there also needs to be a balance.
The fact of the matter is that RMS should spend his time fighting the real enemy and that is proprietary software and companies like Oracle that like to think that they have the right to own the world. What RMS should NOT be doing is fighting against a compiler which is under a recognized free software license (Modified BSD https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html). I can't help but hear a note of jealousy in RMS' tone when he fights against tools which are already free for the sake of preserving the FSF's position. The FSF has, quite frankly, sewn the seeds of this for many years by taking the policy that it did with GCC and other projects and making them inferior in order to keep them free. This position BEGS another group to come in and do it right. Some people may argue that he has a problem with the license.... I suspect that even if it were LGPLv3+ or GPLv3+ he would still have an issue since it is NOT gcc. If you make a more useful tool... people will flock to it. This is a lesson that I hope the FSF learns well and takes away from this experience.
Please don't think for a moment that I don't understand the importance of software freedom. If I didn't I wouldn't have devoted much of my life to GNUstep and to the cause for Free Software. Before you start making value judgements about someone you should, quite honestly, do your research. I have fought for software freedom for most of my adult life and I challenge anyone else here to make a similar claim.
Sincerely, Gregory Casamento