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Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 01:01 PM EDT

Sean Daly met up with Richard Stallman in Brussels, where Stallman just gave a speech on the GPLv3 draft. Mr. Stallman was kind enough to do an interview for Groklaw right afterward, which we appreciate, especially because Sean tells me rms was so exhausted before his speech that he pushed the chair away and did it standing up, to make sure he stayed awake.

In the interview, Stallman addresses some interesting topics:

  • corporate input in the GPLv3 process
  • the difficulty of free software in medical devices
  • the coexistence of GPLv2 with GPLv3 code
  • MS distributing vouchers for SUSE GPL'd code
  • that Gnash will soon be compatible with YouTube
  • How nonprogrammers can make contributions to FOSS

This is part of Groklaw's reporting of the GPLv3 process, and of course the views expressed in the interview are Mr. Stallman's. Groklaw is not political, as you know. So please remember our comments policy.

We have an Ogg audio file of the interview, for those who wish to listen instead, and we also have a transcript, thanks to the prodigious CiarĂ¡n O'Riordan. So you can choose either or both.

Also, I wanted to let you know that ibiblio is doing some maintenance again tonight, so we'll be offline again unavoidably for a bit starting sometime around 7 or 7:30 tonight Eastern. They don't know how long it will last, but hopefully not long. And some are saying that putting the Questions on GPLv3 article at the top is confusing, and the newer articles are being overlooked. So from now until the cutoff for adding questions, I'll keep that article second on the list. Happy?

: )


Interview with Richard Stallman, by Sean Daly
Brussels, Belgium, April 1, 2007
Conducted after Stallman's Speech on GPLv3 Draft3

Q: First of all I'd to thank you for spending a few minutes with us at Groklaw. Let's get right into it. Some have criticised the time that the GPLv3 draft process is taking. If I understand correctly, there will be a fourth draft --

Richard Stallman: That's a silly thing to say. I mean, we're doing the best we can.

Q: You -- There's no way that it's a symptom of some fundamental problems with the process?

Richard Stallman: I don't understand. Things take time. I just don't -- it seems like a silly outlook to criticise people for taking too long on job that's not straightforward. If people are supposed to dig a ditch, you know how long that's going to take, so if they don't get it done on time, you can say they're slacking. That doesn't apply to tasks like this one.

Q: OK. The methods of soliciting feedback from the community, the public consultations, the commenting module, the international meetings, the A, B, C, D committees... These are really a completely new way of getting input from different sources. Would you say that this process is working? Would you have any advice to share with other projects?

Richard Stallman: Well, I don't think that much about the process, and I'm not the one who manages that process. Part of the goal of the process is so that I won't have to look at lots of comments from people but rather to think about the issues that are raised by their comments. So it's working to that extent. And therefore, I don't have to be involved in this process except at the level of looking at the issues that pop up. So I'm the wrong one to talk about the management of the process. I can only say that it seems to be doing a good job. We're getting a lot of comment. We're not getting that much useful comment through the website. We thought we would get a lot of it. We're not even getting that much not-useful comment. We've got a lot of useful comment through our discussion committees.


Q: Very well. Free software has achieved considerable success since -- in the sixteen years since the GPLv2 was published. GNU/Linux is big business now. Leaving aside Novell for the moment, have you experienced corporate pressure to influence the GPLv3 language?

Richard Stallman: Yes. And in some cases we've done what they wanted, and in other cases we've refused.

Q: Are there any specific cases you would want to talk about?

Richard Stallman: No.


Q: All right. Let's talk about license proliferation. I know this has been a concern of yours for some time. Do you think the situation's improving? Is the GPLv3 helping in that regard?

Richard Stallman: I have no way of telling. GPLv3 is not in use yet, and the only way we'll see whether it had an effect on license proliferation is after some years have gone by. Right now all we would be saying is a guess about the future.

Q: OK, well, we'll check back in a few years. Let's talk about Digital Restrictions Management. Many developers seem to feel that there are justified uses, mission-critical medical devices, heavy industrial equipement, vehicles, communication devices. How does the GPLv3 try to square the circle with respect to guaranteeing freedom while addressing those concerns?

Richard Stallman: Well, I don't always agree with them, in many cases. You can -- there may be ways you could modify something and make it illegal, and it may even be illegal for a good reason, but that doesn't mean that the device should be tivoized, so that people can't modify it, period. So, I mostly don't agree with them. In the case of medical devices, maybe I may partly agree. It may be valid to have some kinds of limits on the ability to modify medical devices. But it shouldn't just be forbidden. You know, just as doctors shouldn't be able to force you to take a medical treatment, but it might be appropriate to have doctors involved in whether you can get a medical treatment. So, what should be done in the case of software that acts as medicine is a complicated question. Right now, for it to be simply proprietary or completely tivoized can't be right, but some intermediate thing might be right.

Q: All right. Now, do you think that the DRM clause could become a stumbling block for --

Richard Stallman: There is no DRM clause.

Q: There's no DRM clause. Well, what I'm trying to say is the way DRM is referred to...

Richard Stallman: Sorry, you mean, are you talking -- what part of GPL version three are you talking about? I don't recognise this.

Q: Well, I may be speaking about the previous draft, not the newest draft.

Richard Stallman: Well, I think draft two didn't talk about DRM either, except in the section 3 which doesn't actually limit anything about the software but just prevents certain nasty laws from applying. Many people think of the prohibition of tivoization as the DRM clause, and will talk about the DRM clause, but what they really mean is the part that says you can't tivoize. But it doesn't really talk about DRM... So, the most important thing to say about it is to clear up that misunderstanding.

Q: All right. Now, I've heard described what is called an Application Service Provider - an "ASP loophole"...

Richard Stallman: Well, I think that term is misleading. I don't think that there is a loophole in GPL version 2 concerning running modified versions on a server. However, there are people who would like to release programs that are free and that require server operators to make their modifications available. So that's what the Affero GPL is designed to do. And, so we're arranging for compatibility between GPL version 3 and the Affero GPL. So we're going to do the job that those developers want, but I don't think it's right to talk about it in terms of a loophole.

Q: Very well.


Richard Stallman: The main job of the GPL is to make sure that every user has freedom, and there's no loophole in that relating to ASPs in GPL version 2.

Q: Let's talk about embedded devices. I think we can all agree what a general-purpose computer is, but free software is on the move into embedded devices of all kinds, which leads to tivoization --

Richard Stallman: No, it doesn't, actually. Those are two... they're not connected. It's a mistake to think that they're connected. For instance, Microsoft's Palladium scheme was designed to be applied to general-purpose computers. In general, Treacherous Computing is applied to general-purpose computers. So, it's not the case that these issues are particular to embedded devices.

Q: There would be no justification for having one license more oriented towards general computers --


Richard Stallman: That's ridiculous. That's -- even if there were some difference between embedded uses and general-purpose computer uses, it wouldn't make any sense to have two licenses. You could imagine conceivably having different conditions for the two cases in one license, but to have two licenses would just be ridiculous, then you would be deciding to release your software for one or for the other. Why would anyone want that?

Q: OK. I'd like to talk about Novell-Microsoft. Novell has stated that the still-secret patent protection clauses were put in at Microsoft's request.

Richard Stallman: Well, maybe it was. Who knows, of course. I don't see that it matters.

Q: Well, they seem to have underestimated the community's anger at this deal.

Richard Stallman: Well, I'm glad the community has been more angry than was anticipated, but I really don't see why it would matter when two companies are making a deal which one asked for any particular component of the deal.

Q: Well, the impression I --

Richard Stallman: What's important is that there is a deal, and what the deal does overall. That's what matters. Who had which intentions, doesn't directly matter. And in fact, there's no reason why we should get any feeling of comfort from believing that Microsoft convinced a company to agree to a deal like this.

Q: I'm not sure I would be comfortable with it myself, but the impression I had was that Novell did not scrutinize that aspect as closely as they could have.

Richard Stallman: Well, I hope that companies will start to scrutinize such things in their deals.

Q: Now, I know that you don't want to predict the future, and you've explained to me why in the past. That said, I'm sure you still study scenarios in order to craft the most bulletproof license language. If in fact the Linux kernel decides to remain v2-only, what do you think might happen then, what would be the result?

Richard Stallman: Well, that would be rather unfortunate for those that use Linux, the kernel. Because they might get it tivoized, say. And deals like the Microsoft-Novell deal might make them scared to use it unless they get it from particular companies which would threaten its use as free software. These are the threats that GPLv3 aims to protect us from, and programs that don't advance to GPLv3 won't get the benefit of this, and their users won't get the benefit of this. That's the only problem it will cause. The presence of programs under GPLv2 and other programs under GPLv3 won't cause any specific problem, just as, there are still a few programs under GPLv1 but that doesn't cause any particular problem. There are programs under lots of other licenses as well and that doesn't cause a particular problem. In any GNU/Linux distribution you'll find programs with lots of different licenses. Now, the fact that these licenses are incompatible, which in many cases they are, causes inconvenience in special cases when you want to merge them. Two different copyleft licenses are inevitably incompatible. There's no way to avoid that. So GPL version 2 and GPL version 3 are going to be incompatible and that will cause a certain amount of inconvenience for particular things where you'd like to merge them. But it won't cause -- the presence of them both in the system won't cause any problem.


Q: Very well. On the Microsoft side the ink was still drying on the Novell deal when Mr. Ballmer implied again that GNU/Linux infringes Microsoft patents. Are such threats credible?

Richard Stallman: Well, every large program infringes lots of patents. Microsoft has lots of patents. Most large programs, I would expect, infringe some Microsoft patents. This just goes to show why software patents shouldn't exist.

Q: Yet the code has been available for study since the Day 1...

Richard Stallman: So what? I mean, you say "yet" as if there were some... as if to imply there is a connection, and maybe there is, I just don't follow it. The implied connection I do not follow. What connection do you think there is? Maybe I could comment on it if I understood what you're getting at, but I don't.

Q: Well, what I'm getting at is, I hear lots of threats from Microsoft but I don't hear any specificity about what infringes.

Richard Stallman: I don't know why. I'm not intimate with the executives of Microsoft. I've never even spoken with them. You might well note this peculiar combination of circumstances in their conduct, but I don't understand it.


Q: Now, Microsoft has been distributing GPL'd code such as the GCC for several years now in the Interix and the Services for Unix (and 2nd and 3rd references) modules, although I tried recently and I didn't actually find any source code on the Microsoft site.

Richard Stallman: Well, if they're violating the GPL we'd like to know it. They should be saying where it is. And, so -- I'm serious, please... I think we looked at this before and I think they were complying before, but maybe they aren't today. So please send a message to license-violation at and say where you found these binaries.

Q: OK. Perhaps the Novell deal raises a new question. If Microsoft is distributing coupons that are usable only, redeemable only for GPL'd software, isn't that equivalent to distributing GPL'd software?

Richard Stallman: I believe it is. And it doesn't matter whether they're redeemable "only" for GPL'd software. If they're redeemable for something which includes GPL covered software then they're at least procuring distribution. I'm not a lawyer and I'm not sure whether they are themselves distributing or not, but I think that if they started to do that, they might be violating GPL version 2 even. But I'm not an expert on that.

Q: OK. On a different subject, the fight for software freedom has focused these past few years on file formats. We've seen how interoperability is simplified with standards-built software, yet we have a YouTube, for example, which is an enormous success yet which only allows proprietary or patent-encumbered formats, blocking the upload of free formats such as Theora. And, of course, Microsoft managed to get the ECMA industry group to approve their Office file formats for fast-track ISO adoption after OpenDocument Format became an ISO standard. Adobe as well, 13 years after bringing PDF to market, recently sought and obtained ISO certification. What do you think the community can do to encourage the use of non-patent encumbered or proprietary file formats?

Richard Stallman: I should point out that there is free software to deal with PDF. So, for the most part, that seems to be a free format although I'm told that some of the latest versions of PDF have some features that free software doesn't support, but most PDF files don't seem to use them, so it isn't really a problem in practice.

Q: It's the key advantage of ISO certification, is that the format becomes a usable standard.

Richard Stallman: Well, I don't know if it makes much difference actually. I don't see how it directly matters. To me this is a practical thing. PDF, whether certified or not, has been supported, more or less, by free software for a long time. I look at PDF files regularly with free software, and I did before it got this ISO certification. I'm not sure to what extent the ISO certification directly affects anything. On the other hand, for instance, ISO certification of Microsoft's patented and impossible to implement new version of Word format won't change anything, I know. People have argued that it's simply not feasible for anybody other than Microsoft to implement that format. Not technically feasible, even aside from the fact that in many countries free software is not allowed to implement it. Microsoft's patent license is such that, they offer a gratis patent license, but it's conditions are such that free software is excluded.


Q: What about video formats?

Richard Stallman: The popularity of Flash has been a big problem for our community, and we've been urging people not to use Flash for anything. However, we've just about solved that problem and we're soon going to release a version of Gnash which can even handle YouTube.

Q: Well that will be a great step forward. One more question. I think I speak for many of us who use or appreciate free software yet are not cut out to be coders. For those who want to help out with the movement, in your opinion, what fields other than programming could be most useful? Lawyers? Lobbyists?

Richard Stallman: There are a tremendous number of things that people could do that aren't programming. People tend to assume that the only way to help the free software movement is to write software. Well sure, we would like more people to write free software but there are lots of other things to do such as organizing activism. Become a speaker. Write articles. Write letters to the editor whenever you see a newspaper or magazine praise non-free software, by judging it according to shallow criteria, only caring what job it would do and what's the price and not caring whether it respects your freedom. Well, write a letter to the editor. Do this every time you see one. If you write one once a week, from time to time they'll get published and it'll do some good. Join the FSF. That way you'll contribute some money to our work. Participate in our anti-DRM campaign Just go there and sign up. Join in a protest. There are many ways you can help. Write documentation. We really need more free documentation of free software. If you're good at writing English, that's a great way to contribute. Perhaps even more useful than writing source code. If you are in a school, then you can organise with other people in the school and pressure for the school to move to the exclusive use of free software. Look at for a long list of suggestions for how you can help. This is a campaign for freedom, and nowadays we have to campaign against unjust laws and proposals to impose additional unjust laws that forbid free software. To block those we need political activity and we have to do it despite the fact that democracy is very badly ill. For businesses to have special political influence means that democracy is ill. The purpose of democracy is to make sure that wealthy people cannot have influence proportional to their wealth. And if they do have more influence than you or I, that means democracy is failing. The laws that they obtain in this way have no moral authority, but they have the capability of doing harm.

Q: One final question. We're seeing more and more devices, and I'm thinking specifically of games consoles -- I know that my kids have one in the house -- where there is no --

Richard Stallman: I wouldn't. You have to learn how to say no to your kids.

Q: That's true, that's true, I wouldn't deny it. Now, there is no free software at all for devices like this [correction: Yellow Dog supports some console(s)].

Richard Stallman: That's why there is no possible ethical way you could use one, and so you shouldn't have it.

Q: All right, I think I'll take the kids out on the bike more often.

Richard Stallman: That would be much better for them.

Q: OK, thank you very much Mr. Stallman.

Richard Stallman: Happy hacking!



Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly | 231 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
4th draft or not?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 01:08 PM EDT
Q: If I understand correctly, there will be a fourth draft --

Richard Stallman: That's a silly thing to say. I mean, we're doing the best we

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: MathFox on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 01:22 PM EDT
iff any.

If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic thread
Authored by: MathFox on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 01:26 PM EDT
But don't stray too far from Open Source legal issues. Clickable links are
appreciated (post as HTML); please read the "Important Stuff" again
before hitting the "Submit" button.

If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 01:41 PM EDT
It's Stallman's extreme positions that make me not care about the issue of
GNU/Linux vs Linux. Why should he preach against something as innocuous as a
GAME CONSOLE? Am I immoral in the eyes of Saint Ignucius for using an old
proprietary cellphone?

Seriously, he should lighten up a bit. Increased use of consoles means less need
for Windows.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Medical devices etc.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 02:16 PM EDT
The argument that some devices have to be protected from modification is

Almost any hardware device (eg. medical device, radio transmitter)can be
modified such as to make it unsafe/illegal. There is no legal requirement that
prevents that. Show me the law that says any hardware device has to be locked
down so securely that users can't possibly get into it and modify it.

Given that there's no requirement that the hardware be super secure, why would
we believe that such a requirement exists for firmware?

The people who want to prevent modification are the people who make various
devices. Their motive is not safety, their motive is to protect their precious
IP. In other words, they want to take away our freedom.

An example of someone trying to take away our freedom would be Microsoft's
requirements for pc cards certified for use with Vista. Among the
specifications is one that insists that traces containing unencoded high quality
signals can't run on the surface of the board. They have to be buried in an
inner layer. That's paranoia.

I see no reason to create a loophole in the GPL to accomodate requirements that
don't actually exist. That's just providing an 'exploit' for people like

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why won't Microsoft sue over Linux patent infringement? MAD
Authored by: Samari711 on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 02:22 PM EDT
If Microsoft ever tried, I suspect IBM would retaliate and since IBM (I believe)
has the world's largest patent portfolio it would be quite painful for
Microsoft. I remember one time in college someone from IBM R&D was speaking
about what they do and spent a significant amount of time talking about patents.
He said it was not uncommon for a company would come to them claiming IBM
infringed on one of their patents. IBM would promptly go dig through their
portfolio for all of the IBM patents that company's product infringed upon. It
usually ends in a settlement not in the favor of the other party.

IAASEWTHKS (I Am A Systems Engineer Who Thinks He Knows Something)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Confusion with 'sticky posts'
Authored by: cr on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 02:43 PM EDT
PJ or MF might wish to color or decorate sticky-posts (posts which stick to the
top of the queue), or at least preface-tag the title with [Sticky:]. I've seen
things like this work in forum and blog systems which use sticky posts for FAQs


GROKLAW: "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if not for you meddling

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 03:19 PM EDT
Long time lurker. First time poster.

I've been thinking hard about getting a Linux box when I buy my next computer.
The sole reason that keeps me from making that switch is that I use my PC for
gaming more than 50% of the time. The games I love are not available for Linux
(Oblivion, Gothics 1-3, KOTR etc) and obviously, newer games are not likely to
come out for Linux anytime soon (if at all).

Until now I've thought that the dearth of games for Linux was solely the
consequence of too low a market share for Linux not being attractive to game
developers (in turn due to M$ monopolist tactics). But if Mr Stallman is an
example of Free software advocates' attitudes towards gaming then I'm taking one
step back from the edge.

IMO, until gaming is seriously addressed by the Linux community it will never
conquer the desktop at home. Gaming as an entertainment medium is huge. It will
only get bigger with time. But it seems to be the one thing no one if the free
software community really wants to address.

It's a pity. PJ sold me on the concept of FOSS. RS has made me wonder if
replacing Bill Gates and Co with the FSF will really be an improvement. *sigh*

[ Reply to This | # ]

I know RMS is tired but
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 03:56 PM EDT
Q: Very well. Free software has achieved considerable success since -- in the
sixteen years since the GPLv2 was published. GNU/Linux is big business now.
Leaving aside Novell for the moment, have you experienced corporate pressure to
influence the GPLv3 language?

Richard Stallman: Yes. And in some cases we've done what they wanted, and in
other cases we've refused.

Q: Are there any specific cases you would want to talk about?

Richard Stallman: No.

Why not talk about that we end users would like to know what has been given
versus not given.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Amicus Brief filed in e360 v Spamhaus
Authored by: jog on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 03:58 PM EDT
enter case "06 3779"

[ Reply to This | # ]

The irony of Gnash
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 05:14 PM EDT
I can understand why Stallman wants Gnash as a replacement for flash player --
flash is ubiquitous and the player you need to use it is unfree. But flash is
also a proprietary standard, which gnash is helping support. The free
alternative is SVG, a standard. Ideally, the guys in the white hats
would, instead of spending time on Gnash, write a free software player and
content creator that enables the kind of things people use flash for, thus
giving everyone a free alternative.

So you might ask, why am I wasting time here instead of implementing this grand
vision? Well, it will be a bit of a job. Starting with, the current approved
version of the SVG standard lacks video support, so we can't blame youtube for
not using it. (It's in the works for the next version of the standard.) There
is a plugin for firefox that displays SVG, but it's missing large parts of the
existing standard. And then, as far as I know, there is no free SVG maker that
supports animation and interactivity. So I think once again I'll sit on my
hands and hope Stallman leads a quixotic charge to replace flash with SVG.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Heavy Industrial Equipment
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 07:47 PM EDT
Q: ... Let's talk about Digital Restrictions Management. Many developers seem to feel that there are justified uses, ..., heavy industrial equipement,... How does the GPLv3 try to square the circle with respect to guaranteeing freedom while addressing those concerns?
I've designed safety systems for heavy industrial equipment, and I don't see an issue. Most safety systems are not programmable. They either work strictly through electro-mechanical hardware, or they use an ASIC. A safety system has to be very simple, or you will never be able to determine all the failure modes.

There are some programmable safety systems, but they generally require a user program to be added to them for the specific application (that's why they are programmable). If the user written program is wrong, the system isn't "safe". You have to certify the entire system, including the user program, the attached field devices (which have to be suited to the application), the physical installation, etc. The safety device manufacturer isn't going to do this. They keep their own focus as narrow as possible.

The thing to keep in mind is that the manufacturer of the programmable safety devices and the manufacturer of the machine using them are different companies. The safety device manufacturer writes generic firmware to control the device and to run the user safety application. The machine designer writes additional code for the specific application which runs on top of the firmware. This is analoguous to writing a short script, but in a domain specific (and often graphical) industrial language.

The really risky part of the machine is the user written safety application (normally written by the machine designer). This is normally password protected, but the passwords are given to the machine owner (employer). The employer is expected to have proper procedures in place to deal with the passwords. The industrial machinery business is very fragmented with hundreds of small (sometimes one man) companies involved, and design work is often outsourced. The machine owner is usually the only party who is going to be around to hold the passwords.

The example I have given above though covers a situation which is quite rare. Generally, software is not considered to be acceptable as part of an industrial safety system as it is too difficult (or impossible) to prove it is correct. There are a few exceptions, but these run simple proprietary code deeply embedded in highly proprietary platforms.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Authored by: skuggi on Tuesday, April 03 2007 @ 09:05 PM EDT
"I'll keep that article second on the list. Happy?"

Exellent idea!


[ Reply to This | # ]

Stallman logical inconsistency
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, April 04 2007 @ 03:49 PM EDT

Stallman is usually very logically consistent, but I did find an inconsistency in his talk:

(talking about version 2's "Liberty or Death" clause):

We can't prevent a patent holder from killing the program, but, we can hope to save the program from a fate worse than death, which is, to be made non-free. ... So anyone who tries to sue or threaten you, and tries to settle this in a way that would turn the program into an instrument of subjugation, discovers that all he has achieved is to kill it. ... And in fact, this gives our community a certain measure of safety because very often the patent holder will not find it particularly advantageous to kill the program. On the other hand, if the patent could make it effectively non-free and charge people for permission to run it, that would be advantageous. So if the patent holder could inflict a fate worse than death, that would be more tempting than merely to kill it off. So we actually make it less likely that any bad thing will happen, by standing firm.

(talking about the Novell-MS clause):

This actually has a few more conditions because we were trying to avoid covering certain other things, for instance, consider a patent parasite, one of those companies that has only one business which is to go around threatening people with patent law suits and making them pay. When this happens, the businesses that are attacked often have no choice but to pay them off. We don't want to put them in a position of being GPL violators as a result. So we put in a condition: "this paragraph applies only if the patent holder makes a business of distributing software". Patent parasites don't. As a result, the victim of the patent parasites is not put in violation by this paragraph.

Sounds to me like standing firm would likely be the better position, because the patent parasite wouldn't get anything out of killing a program.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Authored by: roman on Wednesday, April 04 2007 @ 06:20 PM EDT
Richard Stallman: I wouldn't. You have to learn how to say no to your kids ... That's why there is no possible ethical way you could use one, and so you shouldn't have it.

Q: All right, I think I'll take the kids out on the bike more often.

Richard Stallman: That would be much better for them.

AAAA :) HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha LOL :) I hurt myself laughing :( HA :)

Awesome, RMS, you tell them where their morals should be pointing to.

Seriously, I contribute to Free software but I can't stand this guy and his view about proprietory software. I want my freedoms to write proprietary stuff.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, April 07 2007 @ 03:49 PM EDT
I want to see what RMS says to his kids when they ask for a GP2X or break out
the GP32 they had smuggled into the house between bike-riding sessions.

I want it on YouTube, and I will pay a large sum for it if it's similar to what
he said about a leading question asked by an interviewer who didn't know what he
was talking about when wading into the world of video games.

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Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More, by Sean Daly
Authored by: raindog on Thursday, April 12 2007 @ 11:51 AM EDT
Did a lot of comments get deleted from this thread? I swear I posted about
Stallman's view of consoles and wondering where he'd draw the line between them
and a mere electronic toy -- for example, the way the first home consoles like
Odyssey and Pong games had no CPU at all, and most other consoles have had their
programs fixed in ROM, and I don't see him calling the Furby unethical despite
its CPU and ROM -- but it's gone from my post history now and there are only
about 10 non-anonymous posts to this thread.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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