What is Richard Stallman’s role in Computers and Software

During 1983 Richard Stallman of MIT got some particular idea about software usage. It was about giving full rights to software users. He called it Copyleft. Its inverted copyright. The concept of copyleft was described in Richard Stallman’s GNU Manifesto in 1985. You can read more about it here. Based on that he created 4 laws for softwares. They are following:

1. The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
2. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

These all together is called Gnu General Public License (GPL). If any software which is released under this is called Free Software.

Then he started to build an operating system called GNU. Lot of people joined him in that effort. To manage all these tasks he created an organization called Free Software Foundation.

Now, if somebody asks you what is the contribution of Richard Stallman?

Without a single second delay people with common sense will tell he freed computer users from chain of control and created a system for developing software that users can own. Yes that is his achievement, that is his role. He is not a computer programer writing code to count LOC later. He is a true visionary, philosopher, one of the greatest human being ever born in our world who made world a better place.

You cannot judge him based on his lines of code. Only idiots who has no knowledge about the society will count lines of code.

His contribution lasts for ever. If people use softwares or any product that is easily copyable and breaks laws of conventional economics then Stallman’s works will be a great tool for social justice.

Fight for freedom is not a one time task. It is a war for ever. Since we live in a capitalistic system, the profit motive will create evil people who try to steal our freedom. They will always comes with new new kind of traps. Even some free software activists too get deluded in their tricks. In that never ending war, Richard Stallman is the great leader who is fighting to protect user’s freedom. And his contribution will lasts for ever.


Written by: Jagadees.S
India

Nullius in verba


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7 thoughts on “What is Richard Stallman’s role in Computers and Software

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with this post.

    And the points made are precisely the reason that the copyright industry, the corporate media, have subjected RMS to ritual defamation. It is not unusual; the same has been done with Julian Assange, Jeremy Corbyn, Alex Salmond, and many others, usually for condemning aggressive Western foreign policy, warfare and interference in less powerful countries’ democracies.

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    1. Thank you Null.
      I know that. But i am using free service from wordpress.com. I cannot change code there.
      If you know any good free hosting provider please let me know.

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  2. I can read the site with scripts blocked. If this comment posts, then I can also post with scripts blocked.

    Of course it would be better if the scripts were completely absent. They’re probably included by WordPress. I haven’t checked their licences, life’s too short, and I don’t have LibreJS installed as I prioritise security over freedom when blocking scripts.

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    1. Thank you Clark.
      I am really searching for alternative that does not use JS or minimum JS.
      If you have any suggestions please let me know

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      1. I think WordPress are among the most minimal for scripts, and they used to be quite ethical on licensing too, though I haven’t checked for a few years. I get the gist of Javascript though I can’t read it properly, but glancing at this page’s source code it appears to be laid out nicely to aid comprehensibility, quite the opposite of being obfuscated, and it includes a few explanatory comments. I think it’s at the more ethical end of the spectrum, though probably moving in the wrong direction, caught in the current with the whole of politics and society.

        It would be nice to hear from Null again; we’re all stuck in this global mess together as it accelerates towards human extinction. We /need/ to rebel against the toxic system in which we’re embedded, but none of us dare do that without each other’s support. The toxic system encourages us to point the finger, blame each other, because dividing us serves its purpose by keeping us isolated and thereby disempowered against it. Extinction Rebellion’s 8th Principle – we avoid blaming and shaming; we live in a toxic system, but individuals aren’t to blame:

        https://rebellion.global/about-us/

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