Monday, August 07, 2006

Richard Stallman hits it on the head

Now, as some of you may know, Richard Stallman is the founder and leader of the Free Software Foundation, and is therefore an influential and generally important guy in the Free Software movement. I don't always agree with him; in fact, I often think he deliberately provokes people, which, I admit, is a time-honored rhetorical and activist technique. Nevertheless, I respect him and his willingness to do what he believes is right. Anyway, I was reading a transcript of his speech about the GPLv3 at the conference in Barcelona, and I read these lines:

[People who choose free software for practical reasons] are the kind of people that assume that you should choose between Free Software and proprietary software based on practical convenience, which is another way of saying that they value freedom at zero. How sad. How can freedom ever be safe, when people don't appreciate it. People have had to fight for freedom, over and over.

And when people do not value their freedom, they are very likely to lose it. But that's the fact. Most of our community does not appreciate freedom. Most of the World, lets go of vital freedoms whenever some crooked politician tells them "I'm going to protect you from terrorists, give up your freedom, let me protect you."

Right on, Mr. Stallman.
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