Richard Stallman (Computer Scientist)

#44278 Richard Stallman

While corporations dominate society and write the laws, each advance in technology is an opening for them to further restrict its users. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about society
#44279 Richard Stallman

It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about stupidity
#44280 Richard Stallman

I am a pessimist by nature. Many people can only keep on fighting when they expect to win. I'm not like that, I always expect to lose. I fight anyway, and sometimes I win. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about time
#44281 Richard Stallman

You know, if you were *really* going to starve, you'd be justified in writing proprietary software. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about writing
#44282 Richard Stallman

The GNU GPL was not designed to be "open source". .

Richard Stallman Quotes about design
#44284 Richard Stallman

Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about politics
#44285 Richard Stallman

People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about men
#44286 Richard Stallman

Odious ideas are not entitled to hide from criticism behind the human shield of their believers' feelings. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about man
#44287 Richard Stallman

I don't have a problem with someone using their talents to become successful, I just don't think the highest calling is success. Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal. Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it it is a shame to keep striving for that, instead of for truth, beauty, or justice. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about truth
#44288 Richard Stallman

I could have made money this way, and perhaps amused myself writing code. But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about life
#44289 Richard Stallman

Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44290 Richard Stallman

Prior art is as effective as US soldiers in Iraq: They control the ground they stand on, and nothing more. I used to say Vietnam, but, well, you know... .

Richard Stallman Quotes about art
#44291 Richard Stallman

People said I should accept the world. Bullshit! I don't accept the world. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about world
#44292 Richard Stallman

Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. "Don't bother us with politics," respond those who don't want to learn. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about politics
#44293 Richard Stallman

I have not seen anyone assume that all the citizens of New York are guilty of murder, violence, robbery, perjury, or writing proprietary software. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about writing
#44294 Richard Stallman

By the way, I hope you all know about the worldwide boycott of Coca Cola company for things like murdering union organizers in Colombia. See the site . .

Richard Stallman Quotes about hope
#44295 Richard Stallman

Medical marijuana grower and activist Steve McWilliams killed himself last June, rather than face 6 months in prison with no marijuana to relieve his chronic pain. If you are ever in a situation like this, don't kill yourself in private. Make your death itself be a blow against the tyrant. Plead innocent; then kill yourself in the courtroom, with the jury and journalists watching, after defying the judge by shouting, "I'm a medical marijuana grower. You were going to make those 12 honest citizens your tools for evil, but I will save them from you. May my death be on your conscience for as long as you live." .

Richard Stallman Quotes about death
#44296 Richard Stallman

Giving theAward to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving theAward to the . .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44297 Richard Stallman

He [somebody at Carnegie Mellon University] had betrayed us. But he didn't just do it to us. Chances are he did it to you too. [Pointing at member of audience.] And I think, mostly likely, he did it to you too. [Pointing at another member of audience.][Laughter] And he probably did it to you as well. [Pointing to third member of audience.] He probably did it to most of the people here in this room -- except a few, maybe, who weren't born yet in 1980. Because he had promised to refuse to cooperate with just about the entire population of the Planet Earth. He had signed a non-disclosure agreement. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about art
#44298 Richard Stallman

…when I do this, some people think that it's because I want my ego to be fed, right? Of course, I'm not saying -- I'm not asking you to call it "Stallmanix," right? [Laughter] .

Richard Stallman Quotes about people
#44299 Richard Stallman

When I released GNU Emacs and people started using it, they started sending me improvements in the mail. So I would get a message with a bug fix, and a message with a new feature, and another bug fix, and another new feature, and another... and another... until they were pouring in on me so fast that just taking advantage of all of the help people were giving me was a big job. Microsoft doesn't have this problem. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about art
#44300 Richard Stallman

I was getting 8 to 10 orders [for tapes of Emacs] a month. And, if necessary, I could have lived on just that, because I've always lived cheaply. I live like a student, basically. And I like that, because it means that money is not telling me what to do. I can do what I think is important for me to do. It freed me to do what seemed worth doing. So make a real effort to avoid getting sucked into all the expensive lifestyle habits of typical Americans. Because if you do that, then people with the money will dictate what you do with your life. You won't be able to do what's really important to you. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about life
#44301 Richard Stallman

Thanks to , we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is ; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the . .

Richard Stallman Quotes about men
#44302 Richard Stallman

Would a dating service on the net be ‘frowned upon’ . . . ? I hope not. But even if it is, don’t let that stop you from notifying me via net mail if you start one. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about hope
#44303 Richard Stallman

To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master. And in the area of computing, freedom means not using proprietary software. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44304 Richard Stallman

We need to teach people to refuse to install non-free plug-ins; we need to teach people to care more about their long-term interest of freedom than their immediate desire to view a particular site. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about freedom
#44305 Richard Stallman

I didn't receive the DEC message, but I can't imagine I would have been bothered if I have. I get tons of uninteresting mail, and system announcements about babies born, etc. At least a demo MIGHT have been interesting. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about men
#44306 Richard Stallman

Hundreds of thousands of babies are born every day. While the whole phenomenon is menacing, one of them by itself is not newsworthy. Nor is it a difficult achievement--even some fish can do it. (Now, if you were a seahorse, it would be more interesting, since it would be the male that gave birth.) ...These birth announcements also spread the myth that having a baby is something to be proud of, which fuels natalist pressure, which leads to pollution, extinction of wildlife, poverty, and ultimately mass starvation. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about life
#44307 Richard Stallman

Essay at .

Richard Stallman
#44308 Richard Stallman

GNU, which stands for Gnu's Not Unix, is the name for the complete Unix-compatible software system which I am writing so that I can give it away free to everyone who can use it. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about writing
#44309 Richard Stallman

[this document has a footnote mentioning that the word "free" was not used as carefully in this 1985 Manifesto as it should have been] .

Richard Stallman Quotes about men
#44310 Richard Stallman

To avoid horrible confusion, please pronounce the G in the word GNU when it is the name of this project. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about confusion
#44312 Richard Stallman

GNU is not in the public domain. Everyone will be permitted to modify and redistribute GNU, but no distributor will be allowed to restrict its further redistribution. That is to say, proprietary modifications will not be allowed. I want to make sure that all versions of GNU remain free. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about will
#44313 Richard Stallman

Once GNU is written, everyone will be able to obtain good system software free, just like air. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44314 Richard Stallman

Arrangements to make people pay for using a program, including licensing of copies, always incur a tremendous cost to society through the cumbersome mechanisms necessary to figure out how much (that is, which programs) a person must pay for. And only a police state can force everyone to obey them. Consider a space station where air must be manufactured at great cost: charging each breather per liter of air may be fair, but wearing the metered gas mask all day and all night is intolerable even if everyone can afford to pay the air bill. And the TV cameras everywhere to see if you ever take the mask off are outrageous. It's better to support the air plant with a head tax and chuck the masks. Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about art
#44315 Richard Stallman

It may be true that one can reach more microcomputer users with advertising. If this is really so, a business which advertises the service of copying and mailing GNU for a fee ought to be successful enough to pay for its advertising and more. This way, only the users who benefit from the advertising pay for it. On the other hand, if many people get GNU from their friends, and such companies don't succeed, this will show that advertising was not really necessary to spread GNU. Why is it that free market advocates don't want to let the free market decide this? .

Richard Stallman Quotes about success
#44316 Richard Stallman

If anything deserves a reward, it is social contribution. Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as society is free to use the results. If programmers deserve to be rewarded for creating innovative programs, by the same token they deserve to be punished if they restrict the use of these programs. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44317 Richard Stallman

There is nothing wrong with wanting pay for work, or seeking to maximize one's income, as long as one does not use means that are destructive. But the means customary in the field of software today are based on destruction. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44318 Richard Stallman

Extracting money from users of a program by restricting their use of it is destructive because the restrictions reduce the amount and the ways that the program can be used. This reduces the amount of wealth that humanity derives from the program. When there is a deliberate choice to restrict, the harmful consequences are deliberate destruction. The reason a good citizen does not use such destructive means to become wealthier is that, if everyone did so, we would all become poorer from the mutual destructiveness. This is Kantian ethics; or, the Golden Rule. Since I do not like the consequences that result if everyone hoards information, I am required to consider it wrong for one to do so. Specifically, the desire to be rewarded for one's creativity does not justify depriving the world in general of all or part of that creativity. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44319 Richard Stallman

Restricting copying is not the only basis for business in software. It is the most common basis because it brings in the most money. If it were prohibited, or rejected by the customer, software business would move to other bases of organization which are now used less often. There are always numerous ways to organize any kind of business. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44320 Richard Stallman

Control over the use of one's ideas really constitutes control over other people's lives; and it is usually used to make their lives more difficult. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about people
#44321 Richard Stallman

The patent system was established to encourage inventors to disclose the details of their inventions. Its purpose was to help society rather than to help inventors. At the time, the life span of 17 years for a patent was short compared with the rate of advance of the state of the art. Since patents are an issue only among manufacturers, for whom the cost and effort of a license agreement are small compared with setting up production, the patents often do not do much harm. They do not obstruct most individuals who use patented products. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about life
#44322 Richard Stallman

The idea of copyright did not exist in ancient times, when authors frequently copied other authors at length in works of non-fiction. This practice was useful, and is the only way many authors' works have survived even in part. The copyright system was created expressly for the purpose of encouraging authorship. In the domain for which it was invented--books, which could be copied economically only on a printing press--it did little harm, and did not obstruct most of the individuals who read the books. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about books
#44323 Richard Stallman

All intellectual property rights are just licenses granted by society because it was thought, rightly or wrongly, that society as a whole would benefit by granting them. But in any particular situation, we have to ask: are we really better off granting such license? What kind of act are we licensing a person to do? .

Richard Stallman Quotes about art
#44324 Richard Stallman

The case of programs today is very different from that of books a hundred years ago. The fact that the easiest way to copy a program is from one neighbor to another, the fact that a program has both source code and object code which are distinct, and the fact that a program is used rather than read and enjoyed, combine to create a situation in which a person who enforces a copyright is harming society as a whole both materially and spiritually; in which a person should not do so regardless of whether the law enables him to. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about books
#44325 Richard Stallman

The paradigm of competition is a race: by rewarding the winner, we encourage everyone to run faster. When capitalism really works this way, it does a good job; but its defenders are wrong in assuming it always works this way. If the runners forget why the reward is offered and become intent on winning, no matter how, they may find other strategies--such as, attacking other runners. If the runners get into a fist fight, they will all finish late. Proprietary and secret software is the moral equivalent of runners in a fist fight. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44326 Richard Stallman

People with new ideas could distribute programs as freeware, asking for donations from satisfied users, or selling hand-holding services. I have met people who are already working this way successfully. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about success
#44327 Richard Stallman

We have already greatly reduced the amount of work that the whole society must do for its actual productivity, but only a little of this has translated itself into leisure for workers because much nonproductive activity is required to accompany productive activity. The main causes of this are bureaucracy and isometric struggles against competition. Free software will greatly reduce these drains in the area of software production. We must do this, in order for technical gains in productivity to translate into less work for us. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war
#44329 Richard Stallman

Every decision a person makes stems from the person's values and goals. People can have many different goals and values; fame, profit, love, survival, fun, and freedom, are just some of the goals that a good person might have. When the goal is to help others as well as oneself, we call that idealism. My work on free software is motivated by an idealistic goal: spreading freedom and cooperation. I want to encourage free software to spread, replacing proprietary software that forbids cooperation, and thus make our society better. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about love
#44330 Richard Stallman

I figure that since proprietary software developers use copyright to stop us from sharing, we cooperators can use copyright to give other cooperators an advantage of their own: they can use our code. .

Richard Stallman Quotes about war

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