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RMS Calls to Liberate Cyberspace 578

Henri Poole writes "In an interview with Groklaw's Sean Daly at GPLv3 Conference in Barcelona, RMS talks with passion about the dangers of DRM. From the article: 'the point is, we shouldn't be passive victims! We should decide that it will not happen! And the way we decide that is by activism. We have to do everything possible to make sure that those products are rejected, that they fail, that they give bad reputations to whoever makes them.' He closed the interview with a far reaching goal for the Free Software Movement: 'the goal is to liberate everyone in cyberspace.'"
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RMS Calls to Liberate Cyberspace

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  • by Henri Poole ( 645047 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @01:28AM (#15603623) Homepage
    The FSF has recently launched the Defective by Design [] campaign. This campaign is an initiative to provide activism opportunities for free software activists and is 'new territory' for the FSF. In the last 30 days, DefectiveByDesign has received press in Reuters, Financial Times, BusinessWeek, US News and World Report, BBC and over 40 publications in the tech space. The project was launched in response to the most recent FSF members meeting earlier this year, where many FSF members discussed ideas about bringing the fight for free software into the mainstream.
  • Uh, maybe you haven't noticed that a lot of GNU activists outside of the United States are interested in the concept of Free Software because they think it might liberate them from the technological domination of a handful of firms in the U.S.. For example, Miguel de Icaza founded the GNOME project because of concern for the disadvantaged in his native country of Mexico. It's no secret that most of the world's most powerful propietary forces are based in the U.S., while GNU software is a cooperative endeavour that is international in scope. And it's not just the elite who take part; many GNU hackers in the former Soviet Union are using ancient hardware and have poor Internet connections. At least with Free Software, everyone is allowed to contribute, whereas with proprietary software it's hard for the rich and simply impossible for the poor.
  • by mrbobjoe ( 830606 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:01AM (#15603698) Homepage []

    As for editor, good question.
  • by Maelwryth ( 982896 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:17AM (#15603741) Homepage
    We need to stop this now. If every slashdotter joins then we can. []
  • Slashdot isn't really representative of Stallman's community. They transitioned from an Open Source site to a "Geek Culture" site some time ago.

    In my speeches I often make it clear that I consider myself to be standing on Richard's shoulders. Indeed, I said that while sitting next to him on a panel at the UN World IT Summit in Tunis. And Richard immediately responded by protectively clutching his own shoulders! So, I feel that this community member isn't appreciated by his prophet :-)


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @03:12AM (#15603890)
    Ironically, the engine management computer under the hood of your car is "welded shut" in the sense that it's illegal to modify. (not that it stops people) Mandatory /. car analogy nitpick.

    As for what Stallman promotes, if he had any poltical power, it would probably be seen as extreme rather than just an idealistic alternative.
  • You can change the software all you like and keep it as secret as you like as long as you don't try and distribute your program without source code under the GPL. You do *not* have to contribute to the original product, and you do not have to get any permission from the project to release modified code (as long as it is in turn GPL'd). Many businesses use GPL software all the time, tweaking it so it works for their own in-house purposes, and it never sees the light of day. This is acceptable use, and is in fact encouraged because it demonstrates the spectacular freedom of FOSS. All the GPL is trying to accomplish is to make sure that people don't change software, and then try and distribute it without freedoms attached.

    I can't believe people still are confused about this aspect of the GPL.
  • In other news... (Score:3, Informative)

    by cazzazullu ( 645423 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @04:50AM (#15604103)
    Belgium decided today to adopt ODF for all goverment-related documents, starting from September 2008. Microsoft Office will no longer be allowed to be used, unless it fully supports ODF by then.

    Being able to read ODF has to be implemented on all federal computersystems a year earlier.

    I would provide a link to an article, but I don't find anything in english. Here is a dutch [] article
  • Reminds me of 1983 (Score:3, Informative)

    by paj1234 ( 234750 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:20AM (#15604157)
    DRM is bad and we don't need it. Amazing how much it reminds me of what was said about the MSX computer in 1983. It was seen as trying to impose an unwanted limitation on the public (ie: mostly sprite based games). Just like DRM today trying to impose other limitations that are also unwanted. Here's an interview with Design Design from Crash magazine. See the MSX section - how similar the arguments are! []

    I know it is a bit different today, what with legal stuff and all, but still.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:31AM (#15604671)
    Without gnu tools there's some chance they would never existed. OpenBSD needs them. Apache needs them to be compiled. And so on.

    Heck, even Apple use many gnu tools, particularly.. THE OBJECTIVE C compiler.
    Without the GNU project, OSX wasn't going to see the light, the BSD would be less good because they would need to do some hard, long work that GNU did for them. The free BSDs used to use much more GNU tools in the past, replacing them when they could. Without any GNU project, how much time it would have taken to FreeBSD or OpenBSD to be as good as today ?
  • by Froobly ( 206960 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:12PM (#15606125)
    This is the equivalency fallacy.

    Usually, it's stated in terms of the relatively uncontroversial, "well there are radical extremists on both sides of the issue." While this is usually true, it doesn't necessarily mean that the truth lies directly in between them. In addition, it's generally implied that the radical extremists are both equally wrong, which is usually not the case. Michael Moore is not Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly is not Al Franken, and Jon Stewart is not Dennis Miller (not that I've heard that comparison actually drawn).

    You can use the equivalency fallacy to paint any issue as inconclusive, just by picking two people who disagree slightly and drawing a line between them. One guy says the earth is flat and resting on the back of a turtle, supported by four elephants, while the other guy says it's still flat, but just freely floating in space. Obviously the truth is somewhere in between the two, probably a turtle but no elephants.

    In terms of convincing people of something, point of view is important, but it has no place in the fact-finding process. You have to consider the validity of everything you read independently, setting aside your own biases as well as those of the presenter. Sometimes things are just plain wrong, and often huge numbers of people believe things that are just plain wrong.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.