Second Edition of Free as in Freedom by RMS

Richard Stallman codified the Free Software movement and tells the story in this book, Free as in Freedom. It’s a great read for anyone curious about how and why Free Software and sharing became popular in the face of rampant commercial exploitation of software by unethical means. RMS explains why FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

download Free as in Freedom 2.0.

I came to understand Free Software years after I started using GNU/Linux. I began to reflect on why I had used that other OS for so many years in spite of my ability and willingness to install anything anywhere. I came to GNU/Linux out of necessity to preserve my sanity. I had not been aware that I had a choice.

I came to FLOSS because it works well, much better than FUD that pervades that other OS and M$’s “partners”. I can spend my time doing IT rather than worrying about paying for licences, fighting malware, and watching computers slow down, re-re-reboot and crash. Reading US Department of Justice v M$ was the last straw. I came to see M$ as the root of most evil in IT and M$’s whole method of operation was to take freedom away from users of software and to tax all of IT, something impossible in the world of Free Software. The permission of the authours of software to run, examine, modify and to distribute FLOSS shuts out evil-doers like M$.

Slowly the world is coming to see the light as well. It has been a long process: first servers, then desktops, now mobile devices and soon retail shelves everywhere will be liberated. Individuals, schools, governments and some businesses have been on the front lines for more than a decade and have endured endless sabotage, barriers, FUD, and taxation but the end is in site. Last year more */Linux personal computers shipped than that other OS. The retail shelves are a big stumbling block but OEMs have shown themselves ready, willing and able to supply GNU/Linux to the mass markets.

The emerging markets are not locked in and have the present advantage of information from the web defeating much of M$’s advertising and pressure from M$’s “partners”. This year the barrier to retail shelves is crumbling. In many countries one can buy a GNU/Linux PC and we even see a few places where the price with GNU/Linux and with that other OS is published openly. GNU/Linux is a best-seller in Brazil and could soon be so in India, Malaysia, Russia and China where governments are promoting FLOSS in schools and government offices.

RMS has done more than most individuals to spread the ideals of FLOSS but he is not alone. There are now millions of users of GNU/Linux and FLOSS who are beginning to understand that they have a choice and why they have a choice.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to Second Edition of Free as in Freedom by RMS

  1. Chris Weig wrote, “Bob is not advocating for FLOSS here? He’s hating Microsoft.”

    I can speak for myself. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux and FLOSS for it’s the right way to do IT. I have often written that and pointed people at particular FLOSS projects and huge repositories of FLOSS yet CW thinks I am not advocating FLOSS… My hatred of M$ is a side-effect of my adoption of FLOSS. Having read US DOJ v M$ and much of the history of M$’s FUD against FLOSS and experiencing M$’s performance over the years in many workplaces, how could I not hate M$?

    Hate – “To have a great aversion to, with a strong desire that evil should befall the person toward whom the feeling is directed; to dislike intensely; to detest; as, to hate one’s enemies; to hate hypocrisy.”

    M$ has called the OS I love “a cancer” and I return the favour.

  2. Chris Weig says:

    No, let me help you out here. Robert Pogson is advocating for FLOSS.

    Have you still not realized that Bob is not advocating for FLOSS here? He’s hating Microsoft. That’s all there is to it.

  3. kozmcrae says:

    oldman wrote:

    “Do you think there are no consequences for me commercial software users if you get any of your wishes about the banning of microsoft?”

    Do you mean like if a genie appears and gives Robert Pogson three wishes and he uses one of those wishes to make Microsoft and all their software disappear from the planet… Do you mean like that “if you get any of your wishes…”?

    Are you freakin’ serious oldman? Get his wishes? Then he’s to blame? Really?

    No, let me help you out here. Robert Pogson is advocating for FLOSS. In that way he is responsible for its success but only if you could measure what impact he is having on its success. I’m sure he’s having some, but I suspect, when you add it up with all the other bloggers advocating for FLOSS it’s a small impact.

    I think what bothers you is the intent. Seeing Robert Pogson “get his wishes” means you lose in a fashion. That’s all. Who wants to lose?

    But the success of FLOSS does not have to mean the failure of Microsoft. That’s the Cult of Microsoft thinking. The World is big enough for both proprietary commercial and FLOSS commercial to survive but there is no room for Microsoft to control the majority of it. That’s the problem.

  4. Chris Weig wrote, “That is not even true for F(L)OSS, because it relies on copyright law. “

    You could eliminate copyright law and FLOSS could continue unabated because it is perfectly natural to equate giving with giving permission. That’s what GPL does. Certainly the part about requiring source code would be weakened but that would not prevent good people from giving the source code anyway. I have enough faith in humanity to believe the M$’s of the world could not subvert them all. M$ would have no mechanism to do that and the code would still be out there. In fact, of all the usage of FLOSS, only a tiny sliver has involved copyright violation unlike that other OS. M$ needs copyright much more than FLOSS does.

  5. Chris Weig says:

    Except the culture FOSS comes from and Wikileaks comes from is not institutionalised.

    That is not even true for F(L)OSS, because it relies on copyright law. (And I’m talking about institutions in the sociological sense.) You could even argue that F(L)OSS itself is an institution.

  6. oiaohm says:

    Chris Weig
    –Therefore you define freedom by your institutionalized right to possess things. And therefore you concede that freedom is institutionalized.–

    Except the culture FOSS comes from and Wikileaks comes from is not institutionalised.

    This is the problem. Will either culture be willing to take on institutionalised head to head yes they will.

    oldman
    –Do you think there are no consequences for me commercial software users if you get any of your wishes about the banning of microsoft?–

    The problem here is balance. FOSS does not mean no commercial software. USA government classes particular FOSS projects as COTS.

    If Microsoft was banned from selling closed source software they would have to sell support and new features. FOSS world does not mean Microsoft could not live on. It just would not be as profitable.

  7. oldman says:

    I don’t.

    Really?

    Do you think there are no consequences for me commercial software users if you get any of your wishes about the banning of microsoft?

    Or are you admitting the your whole blog is just a bunch of hot air and all you are doing with your posts is trolling for hits, eh Pog?

  8. oldman wrote, “why do you work to take the software away that meets my needs and which I had no problems paying to license and maintain, Robert Pogson?”

    I don’t. Your supplier probably does not know I exist and will supply you as long as you live. What’s your beef? That others don’t choose the same supplier is not my problem and it’s not yours either.

  9. Chris Weig wrote, ” your institutionalized right to possess things”.

    I have a natural right to possess things. That’s what hands are about. Living things that cannot possess anything die and drop out or Nature. Living things need resources and reproduction because the individual does not live indefinitely. Institutions may claim to give me the right to possess things but they do not. They just agree not to hassle me about certain things. That’s different.

  10. Chris Weig says:

    Nope. Freedom is what you have when no one takes anything that’s yours.

    Therefore you define freedom by your institutionalized right to possess things. And therefore you concede that freedom is institutionalized.

  11. oldman says:

    Nope. Freedom is what you have when no one takes anything that’s yours.

    Really?

    Then why do you work to take the software away that meets my needs and which I had no problems paying to license and maintain, Robert Pogson?

  12. Chris Weig wrote, “freedom is always institutionalized freedom. It’s something that has to be created.”

    Nope. Freedom is what you have when no one takes anything that’s yours. The only place on Earth I have found pure freedom was in Canada’s North where, if one chooses, one can go away from everyone and hunt and gather to make a living and there’s nothing but you and Nature for many miles. Very few people live that way any longer in Canada because the efficiency of specialization is appealing but it’s still a choice one can make.

    In IT, there is a huge ecosystem where information is Free: free of cost (mostly), freely shareable, and independent of government or industry. All kinds of players are trying to lock that up but it is hard to lock up information. Software is just one form of that information. Knowledge about how to use information is information too. That’s what FLOSS and */Linux is about. There’s a lot of freedom out there and it’s not institutionalized. It’s a chaotic system dependent on no one and everyone. It’s an important tool for everyone and every community that values freedom.

  13. glen says:

    “….he just has problems with people who taint his holy FLOSS”

    You aren’t tainting floss Weigsel.
    Your actually helping the advocacy with your inane
    comments.
    Keep up the good work.

  14. Chris Weig says:

    Another example of hypocrisy. Bob has no problems with homophobes like Adam King, he just has problems with people who taint his holy FLOSS.

    And as for freedom: it can’t be a natural state of existence (look, kozmcrae, I can spell “existence” correctly!), because freedom is always institutionalized freedom. It’s something that has to be created.

  15. Adam King says:

    M$ is a cult. Apple is a particularly gay cult. Freedom is not a cult but rather the natural state of human existance.

  16. kozmcrae says:

    “Most people don’t found a cult.”

    Chris Weig is sensitive about being labeled as a member of a Cult. He has a persecution complex. (rest of post deleted)

  17. oiaohm says:

    FOSS existed before RMS. Chris Weig.

    RMS just was the one who defined what it was. Same with the other ideas RMS pushes.

    Wikileaks idea of Information freedom comes out of the same cooking pot.

    There is this cultural thing wishing for freedom in different areas.

    This is why trying to stop FOSS is not going to happen.

  18. Chris Weig says:

    RMS has done more than most individuals

    True. Most people don’t found a cult.

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