Before entering the subject of the recent controversy that exists in the world of free software due to the opinions of Richard Stallman and his return to the FSF (Free Software Foundation) we must know a little who is Richard Stallman and who is he? What is the FSF? .
Richard Matthew Stallman (Manhattan, New York, March 16, 1953), often abbreviated as “rms,” is an American physicist, programmer, activist, and founder of the free software movement, the GNU operating system, and the Free Software Foundation. (Foundation for Free Software).
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit organization founded by Richard Stallman on October 4, 1985 to support the free software movement, which promotes universal freedom to study, distribute, create, and modify computer software.
Already having an idea of who Richard Stallman (RMS) is and what the Free Software Foundation (FSF) does, we can enter the current topic.
Why is Richard Stallman and the FSF in the limelight?
Let’s go a bit in history and why Richard Stallman is crushed by one faction and at the same time hated by other factions in the world of free software.
Being a public figure and issuing controversial opinions throughout his career has led to him not being loved by everyone despite all the actions he has taken in favor of the world of free software and the support he has given to different free software projects through the FSF.
Everything is triggered a few years ago by opinions and accusations that he receives in this regard, among them we have:
It is alleged that he repeatedly tends to abuse women and make them feel uncomfortable, unsafe and unwelcome and other related incidents in this regard, (in a personal opinion everyone is innocent until proven otherwise, not with this seeing it in a objective means that you agree with RMS’s personal behaviors, apart from this, not all people will like the way of being of others, this will always be the case).
Another great controversy unleashed has been by the personal opinions that Richard Stallman himself issued on “The opinions of RMS on the laws of rape and child sex were publicly discussed” in the fall of 2019, which have generated repudiation of the great part of developers and users in the world of free software.
Richard Stallman resigned from the FSF presidency in 2019, Stallman’s decision comes after statements about the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire investor accused of child sexual abuse, who died in prison in August, were made public.
He spent 2020 with little public activity, and being outside the command of the Free Software Foundation throughout that year in part to the lack of control caused by the global pandemic that has already caused countless and unfortunate deaths worldwide.
But not everything is there since in the current year 2021, Richard Stallman announces his return to the board of the Free Software Foundation, generating a hurricane of opinions for and against and thus beginning a battle between factions that agree with his return to the board of directors and factions that are against it.
In any case, although Stallman continues to attribute everything that happened to “a series of misunderstandings”, the truth is that in this time of absence he has done little to clarify those misunderstandings, so it is not explained what has motivated the organs of FSF government to reinstate him right now.
This generates divisions in the world of free software and in cooperation with the Free Software Foundation, suggesting that people and companies have their dark hands on these events to destroy the enormous effort that has been achieved in the world of free software. .
Let us remember that Richard Stallman is a figure who has an iron position where free software must be free and must not impose conditions for its use.
Currently they inserted the DRM in the linux kernel a serious error that is being committed in this case and that Richard Stallman will surely take a strong position on the matter.
Both fractions against or in favor are collecting signatures to support or to force Richard Stallman to leave the direct meeting of the Free Software Foundation which, let’s say, according to the number of signatures, you will be able to know if you have a majority to accept him in the FSF by the board of directors and representatives of the same before the entire free software community worldwide.
We must be attentive to the results of these signature collections and the results of the same.
The links to them, if you have not taken a position in this regard, you only have to enter one of the 2 links:
- In Favor: https://codeberg.org/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter
- Against: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/
You just have to follow the instructions to be able to sign and assume your position regarding the return of Richard Stallman to the Free Software Foundation.
Let us remember that in the world of free software it is a bustling bazaar that in the midst of that disorder there is an organization and a combined effort in each of the areas of this world, But not everything is easy there will always be interests against free software follow its progress as a locomotive at a global level dethroning proprietary software in different areas of knowledge, production, ideologies among others.
The folks that claimed that they would sabotage the work of the FSF and Richard Stallman can be said to be insane as this will generate more problems than solutions, it must be remembered that strength is in unity.
Let’s remember a quote by Richard Stallman to finish:
Freedom is not being able to choose between a few imposed options, but being in control of your own life. Freedom is not choosing who will be your master, it is not having a master.
Enjoy and remember to use Free Software only like WordPress, the server software we use to publish our tech blog!