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Transcript of Eben Moglen's Harvard Speech

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the preaching-to-the-choir dept.

GNU is Not Unix 357

An anonymous reader writes "Groklaw has a transcript of Eben Moglen's Harvard Speech + Q&A up. Good Stuff. During the Q&A he made a good point to think about: 'We stand for free speech. We're the free speech movement of the moment. And that we have to insist upon, all the time, uncompromisingly. My dear friend, Mr. Stallman, has caused a certain amount of resistance in life by going around saying, "It's free software, it's not open source". He has a reason. This is the reason. We need to keep reminding people that what's at stake here is free speech. We need to keep reminding people that what we're doing is trying to keep the freedom of ideas in the 21st century, in a world where there are guys with little paste-it labels with price tags on it who would stick it on every idea on earth if it would make value for the shareholders. And what we have to do is to continue to reinforce the recognition that free speech in a technological society means technological free speech. I think we can do that. I think that's a deliverable message.'"

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357 comments

Indecipherable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409006)

Ugh, I can't read Esperanto!

Who? (3, Insightful)

gkelman (665809) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409015)

Another great slashdot article which assumes you know _exactly_ who the person is featured in the article. Can't we have just a little one line in the first paragraph saying what it's all about?

FSF's General Counsel (4, Informative)

Phil John (576633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409043)

...who works Pro Bono for them

Re:FSF's General Counsel (4, Funny)

QuijiboIsAWord (715586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409068)

I don't know why he bothers. U2 isn't exactly giving their music away for free... Seems like a conflict of interest to me.

Re:FSF's General Counsel (2, Offtopic)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409591)

I don't know why he bothers. U2 isn't exactly giving their music away for free... Seems like a conflict of interest to me.

I know this was meant as a joke, but U2 isn't exactly into free speech [deuceofclubs.com] anyway.

Ob. Simpson's quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409265)

Bart: I'll do it pro boner. Skinnner: Don't you mean pro bono? Bart: I know what I said.

Re:Who? (5, Insightful)

thoth39 (583059) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409054)

Well, Slashdot articles usually carry these links to stories about the subject you can read...

The way you put it, we should tell who is speaking so people can assess if it's worth listening.

But I'd expect this is the purpose of the quote.

Re:Who? (4, Informative)

syphax (189065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409086)

Here are you hints:

Groklaw
SCO
(Richard) Stallman

With apologies, these names should ring a bell to anyone who occasionally visits /.

I'm feeling lucky [columbia.edu]

Re:Who? (2)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409125)

I would think Eben Moglen should be a pretty well-known name by now as well, especially if you visit Groklaw [groklaw.net] at all.

Re:Who? (3, Informative)

YukioMishima (205721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409132)

Eben Moglen is lead counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] and a professor [columbia.edu] at Columbia Law School in New York City . He's a proponent of freedom on-line, a friend (or at least acquaintence) of Lawrence Lessig, and someone who works actively as a lawyer to promote open software and copyright issues on the web.


I had him as a professor for three of my classes while I was there, and he's a lightening rod for controversy. He often interacts with professor Jane Ginsburg, who takes an opposite view of copyright (and teaches copyright at Columbia; she's also the daughter of Justice Ginsburg on the Supreme Court).

Re:Who? (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409195)

Eben Moglen is lead counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation
He is? I can't see anything on the EFF's site to confirm that.

He is, however, the lead counsel for the Free Software Foundation [fsf.org] (FSF) and it is in this capacity that the quote in the article writeup is relevent.

Re:Who? (2, Informative)

YukioMishima (205721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409245)

You're absolutely right. I mistyped, and I apologize.

Re:Who? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409302)

No problem. The funny thing is that a couple of hours before you wrote that, I added EFF vs FSF to my "Don't confuse the two" journal entry (see .sig) almost as an afterthought...

Re:Who? (5, Insightful)

McLoud (92118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409401)

An "Errata" moderation mode would be usefull to these cases

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409426)

He often interacts with professor Jane Ginsburg, who takes an opposite view of copyright (and teaches copyright at Columbia; she's also the daughter of Justice Ginsburg on the Supreme Court).

So much like Paula Adbul and MC Skat Kat, they take one step forward and two steps back, We come together
Cuz opposites attract
And you know--it ain't fiction
Just a natural fact
We come together
Cuz opposites attract

Re:Who? (1)

robosmurf (33876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409569)

I think you mean the Free Software Foundation, not the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Re:Who? (5, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409151)

/. targets an audience that has basic web searching skills.

Re:Who? (4, Informative)

Nurseman (161297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409155)

He is a laywer who represents/gives leagal advice to [gnu.org]
The Free Software Foundation
His Bio is Here [columbia.edu]


He was responding to the talk given by our buddy Darl McBride Text here [groklaw.net]

Re:Who? (2, Informative)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409465)

From the article summary, I can tell he's someone who's important enough to give a speech at Harvard on the topic of free software and is himself a supporter of free software and the spread of that message. I would assume clicking on the links would give me more details about him and his position on these matters.

And this is before I've read it and before I knew who he was. What exactly do you expect here? A paragraph explaining that Eben Moglen was the legal counsel for EFF doesn't tell me anything about this article.
-N

second reply thread (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409029)

look im second to make a reply!! hahaha

Free Speech??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409046)

It's goddamn software.

If you want to fight for free speech, join the ACLU.

Re:Free Speech??!! (5, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409523)

Issues like this aren't even on the ACLU's radar. Hell, have they even spoken up about computerized voting machines?

The ACLU doesn't even have a clue.

Frist Prost! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409069)

Frist Prost going out to all my bitches n chigga wiz giggas!

Did you read the whole article? (-1, Troll)

TheBoostedBrain (622439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409071)

How can you read the article and post something that fast?

Re:Did you read the whole article? (2, Funny)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409082)

You see, some of us actually have subscriptions...

Re:Did you read the whole article? (4, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409092)

I was wondering why there so few posts this long after the post. Then I realized that most of the /.ers are actually reading this article.

Re:Did you read the whole article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409461)

Heh, they're probably watching the video.

Two alternatives (2, Insightful)

Tensor (102132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409112)

1) They are both subscribers and had more time than you did.

2) If you read both posts you'll see that neither actually requires reading the article, one just says "But who is this guy", the other says "He's FSF Lawyer"

Re:Two alternatives (2, Informative)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409130)

3) They read it yesterday....

It is already on groklaw for a while.

Jeroen

Re:Two alternatives (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409199)

I can't believe you actually took the time to answer that.

Re:Two alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409688)

Wrong.

It is actually ONE alternative. From Dict.org [dict.org] :

Alternative \Al*ter"na*tive\, a. [Cf. F. alternatif.]
1. Offering a choice of two things.

Artaxerxes

Nonsense (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409104)

Is Free Speech in danger when McDonald's doesn't publish the recipes of their menu or when KFC keeps the 13 spices and herbs secret?

How about my favorite Italian restaurants meatballs?

This Free Speech/Open Source movement is not just a philosophy. It's a religion, with FSF the High Church and RMS as it's pope. It's almost scary the crap he spews and people follow to a T.

A cult would be a more apt description.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409330)

Is Free Speech in danger when McDonald's doesn't publish the recipes of their menu or when KFC keeps the 13 spices and herbs secret?

It is in danger if you are not allowed to not talk about how bad the BigMac sucks or are sued when you talk about the ingredients. Or, if McDonalds sue Burger King because the whopper is similar. Or the 6 year old is sued for taking apart a whopper.

Re:Nonsense (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409394)

Or your dear sweet old grandma is sued because her age-old family recipe violates some sort of McDonald's trade secret or patent.

Re:Nonsense (2, Insightful)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409610)

Or, if McDonalds sue Burger King because the whopper is similar.

Wouldn't that be Burger King suing McDonalds because the Big Xtra [topsecretrecipes.com] is really a Whopper [burgerking.com] in disguise? I guess it wouldn't matter...McDonalds could probably sue over the Big King [topsecretrecipes.com] anyways.

But the big boys know they can fight in the courts for years with each other. Fighting against it's own consumers to prevent bad reviews or "top secret recipes" from getting out would be handle very quickly since no one could really put up a fight. But unlike some businesses, I don't think they are stupid enough to do that. Mostly because there are still too many disadvantages to suing your consumers. But, as consumers, we should be fighting to keep those disadvantages stable, which includes fighting for free speech to say all those things they don't like...

How patronizing "guys with little paste-it labels" (2, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409440)

"guys with little paste-it labels with price tags on it who would stick it on every idea on earth"

What a patronizing way to refer to people (like me) who are trying to make a living selling their own work.

That's how these guys think about anybody who doesn't drink their free-everything Kool-Aid.

Re:How patronizing "guys with little paste-it labe (5, Insightful)

the_flatlander (694162) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409661)

What a patronizing way to refer to people (like me) who are trying to make a living selling their own work.
Respectfully, no, it is not patronizing. You are allowed to sell your work. Encouraged to sell your work. Respected for selling your work. But do not claim that an idea you have had is "property". The Freedom the good professor is talking about is the freedom to speak, think and have ideas; and to build on the ideas of others. If your idea becomes your property then I can not legally think that thought; that would be bad. If you are a programmer, like it or not, you are in the service business, and your service should not be free, or at least Professor Moglen has neither said, nor I suspect believes, that it should be.

It is patronizing if you are one of the guys who wants to put a paste-it label with a price tag on every idea on earth, but I doubt he means you.

The Flatlander

Re:How patronizing "guys with little paste-it labe (3, Insightful)

Larsing (645953) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409687)

What a patronizing way to refer to people (like me) who are trying to make a living selling their own work.

No, he is refering to people who are trying to make a living selling other peoples work (and keeping the profits for themselves).

Re:How patronizing "guys with little paste-it labe (4, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409690)

"guys with little paste-it labels with price tags on it who would stick it on every idea on earth"

What a patronizing way to refer to people (like me) who are trying to make a living selling their own work.

That's how these guys think about anybody who doesn't drink their free-everything Kool-Aid.

I think the OP is objecting to people who want to put prices on all intellectual property, not just some of it. Even RMS thinks that not all software must be free. I agree. I think people who want to write free software (like me) should be free to do so, and companies like Microsoft that want to write non-free software should be free to do so.

The issue is when people try to sue the free software writers out of existence, e.g. SCO. They think all software should come from big companies with big licensing fees. Moderation is key. I use some non-free software. I also use plenty of free software. I do not impose my views of this on the public or the economy.

Patronizing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409720)

If you look into the context (or if you've even read here about the Amazon patents for instance), you'd then know that a better reply would have been:

"What a patronizing way to refer to people who are making a living selling/appropriating the work of others."

Sheesh, get some perspective. It's not about getting everyone to give shovels away for free, it's about preventing people from claiming that they have an inalienable right of ownership over the very idea of a shovel.

In short, if you are a programmer (or such), you're probably not a person like that. If you are in fact a patent attorney fighting on the side of software patents for megacorporations, you should look around at your "colleagues" on /. More than a few of them would probably treat you to a punch in the head, rather than a funny one-liner.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409536)

This Free Speech/Open Source movement is not just a philosophy. It's a religion

Any philosophy would appear like a religion if you don't agree with it. That's just like saying "all you people are wrong, and why don't you just shut up with your new philosophy".

Is Free Speech in danger when McDonald's doesn't publish the recipes of their menu or when KFC keeps the 13 spices and herbs secret?

How about my favorite Italian restaurants meatballs?


Almost all chefs that I've met keep their receipes secret. This is a tradition amongst chefs, and helps them distinguish themselves, much like an artist has a certain style.

As for those 13 herbs and spices... consider the following transcript from this article...

So let me tell you what I think the owners of culture were doing in the 20th century. It took them two generations from Edison to figure out what their business was, and it wasn't music and it wasn't movies. It was celebrity. They created very large artificial people, you know, with navels eight feet high. And then we had these fantasy personal relationships with the artificial big people. And those personal relationships were manipulated to sell us lots and lots of stuff -- music and movies and T-shirts and toys and, you know, sexual gratification, and heavens knows what else. All of that on the basis of the underlying real economy of culture, which is that we pay for that which we have relations with. We are human beings, social animals.

In there small way KFC is threatening freedom of speech. They've created a secret formula, and made it a celebrity. They own a piece of our culture, like George Lucus owns Star Wars, and that's how they make all that money.

As for freedom of speech, people will publish receipes, (and make movies), and others will take those receipes and improve upon them (there is no requirement to republish), and over the centuries we developed wonderful and complex delicacies and great diversity. KFC gives us a few types of food and they sustain their IP with marketing. Why is this restricted model somehow better for society just because it creates shareholder value in the pockets of a few?

Mirror of the webcast? (5, Interesting)

ansak (80421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409116)

I read the whole transcript yesterday. I just wish I could have watched it or at least listened to it. The online archive is in perpetual time-out mode. Has anyone got an (unofficial?) mirror of it? Is anyone allowed to? Can we 'torrent this?

I just want to hear Eben's jokes in Eben's voice. Someone worth listening to for an hour and a half is a rare bird.

cheers...ank

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (2, Interesting)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409203)

Really? I dumped the stream to disk, as well as the Darl speech. I'd love to torrent/edonkey them if I'm allowed.

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (4, Informative)

Jayfar (630313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409404)

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (1)

ansak (80421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409450)

Thanks Jayfar, but that's the exact link that constantly times-out for me. Is it working for you? Perhaps my corner of the 'net is sick in that way.

now back to regular programming already in progress...ank (double entendre entendred)

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (1)

Jayfar (630313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409561)

Oops, my bad (noticed right after I posted). Just got home from a long night shift and my glazed over eyes had missed the 2d half of your comment (about having the link, but it timing out). I was able to watch it in its entirety around this time yesterday and I'd guess it will eventually start responding again after the slashdotting (which I've effectively exacerbated) dies down. Would someone please mod my prior comment down to zero %-) Thx.

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (2, Informative)

setzman (541053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409604)

That link works for me. Probably a network issue.

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409682)

So it's in a format that I'm not free to do what I want with? Stupid. I just want to burn it to a CD, so I can listen in the car (I drive a lot). You can't even get the President's State of the Union in an open format. I've even tried Kaaza.

Re:Mirror of the webcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409664)

Can we 'torrent this?

I dunno. Can we? [slashdot.org]

Eben Moglen resume (5, Informative)

aacool (700143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409121)

Eben Moglen

1994-, Professor of Law and Legal History, Columbia Law School.(current)

1987-94, Associate Professor of Law, Columbia Law School.

1986-87, Law Clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, United States Supreme Court.

1985-86, Law Clerk to Judge Edward Weinfeld, United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

1984, Associate, Cravath Swaine & Moore, New York.

1983, IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York, Associate Corporation Counsel

1979-84, IBM Corporation, San Jose, California, Programmer/Analyst, Programming Language Research & Development

Selected Publications

Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright, First Monday (August, 1999)

The Invisible Barbecue, 97 Colum. L. Rev. 945 (1997).

Jewishness and the American Constitutional Tradition: The Cases of Brandeis and Frankfurter (Book Review), 89 Colum. L. Rev. 959 (1989).

Taking the Fifth: Reconsidering the History of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 92 Mich. L. Rev. 1086 (1994).

The Anti-Darl (5, Funny)

IronClad (114176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409123)

Did you ever wonder what would happen if we get this guy into the same room with Mr. McBride?

My guess: A flash of gamma rays.

Re:The Anti-Darl (5, Funny)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409259)

Heh, my favourite part of the speech was where he says that on the same day as Darl was speaking at Harvard, he was meeting with Darl's brother. Then says "The McBride's... Sometimes I feel like I'm in a Quentin Tarantino movie.. The McBride's..."

Yeah, I wondered. (3, Funny)

JoeBaldwin (727345) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409434)

It went something like this.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!

A mushroom cloud rises out of the room, and both Darl and him are vaporised.

The Slashdot crowd are puzzled at how to feel.

Re:The Anti-Darl (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409495)

Can you imagine if RMS was standing too close when that happened?

"Don't make me angry, Mr. Raymond, you won't like me when I'm angry."

-Peter

Differences (0, Insightful)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409131)

Can someone sum up the differences between Free Software and Open Source Software?

Re:Differences (0, Informative)

tybalt44 (176219) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409654)

Open Source software is just that... the source code is published openly. Software can be Open Source and still be subject to copyright, patent, and other intellectual property restrictions.

Free Software is a bit more nebulous a term, but as I understand it, it refers to software for which the intellectual property rights (copyright and so forth) have been deliberately weakened so that others may modify it, create derivative works from it, and in some cases even redistribute it, without fear of legal reprisal.

DIRTY GNU HIPPY (-1)

osm (179439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409139)

Richard M. Stallman. The eccentric visionary who founded the Free Software Foundation. He is the leader of the Free Software movement and hero and moral conscience of linux users worldwide. RMS has taught us the true meaning of "freedom" (it means speech, not beer) and has shown us the fatal flaws in a capitalist system that has worked for hundreds of years. But Mr. Stallman has never shed light on his private life. The reason for this has remained a mystery. Until now.

Once again, I have been in contact with the great voices from beyond. Channelled through the Natalie Portman poster mounted on the wall behind my computer monitor, these great spirit guides have revealed the sordid truth of Mr. Stallman's ghastly life of sex, lies and free software. Warning: this article is not for the faint-hearted.

Mr. Stallman's story begins on the shores of Japan. after the surrender of the Japanese to American forces, the United States sent in military leaders to help rebuild Japan. Donal Stallman was an officer in the Navy at the time and was a member of the American entourage. Donal was a very strict officer and not well-liked by his underlings. For this same reason, in addition to the fact he would stick his nose up any asshole he could sniff out, his superiors adored him.

Donal had never had much luck with women, a chronic, incurable problem with body odor scared away most women. The few who would approach him were, without exception, scared away by his gruesome foot disease, which caused huge flaps of necrotic flesh to constantly peel from his feet. Donal had suffered with these afflictions most of his life and so was a very lonely man. Donal was hoping his luck would change in Japan. And it would... but not in the way he was hoping.

Late one evening, after a long day of meetings with Japanese officials, Donal decided to go for a lonely walk. He had hit on practically every woman, cute teen girl and 12-year-old in japan, all to no avail. He stumbled down the wet, radioactive streets, guzzling on a bottle of whiskey he had brought with him.

Donal was startled when a street-light popped and darkened. He stumbled blindly forward, tripping over an enormous mass. Donal lit a match and held it to the mass... it was the sumo-wrestler he had read about in the newspaper! The poor man had been shunned by all of Japan when it was discovered that, due to severe radiation poisoning, he had grown a complete set of female reproductive organs. The doctors had refused to treat him and turned him to the streets, where he was left to die.

Donal felt the wrestler's pulse... he had none. He didn't appear to be breathing. But... the body was still strangely warm. Donal felt the wrestler's genital area... it was the first time he had ever enjoyed the moist warmth of a vagina. Excited beyond words, Donal grasped the corpse and pulled it back to the ship, where he hid it in an unused, lower-deck storage area. That night, Donal lost his virginity.

Nine months later, Donal Stallman returned to the United States with his son, Richard. Donal was bitter over his ejection from the Navy and grieving the loss of his beloved, who was confiscated by the military and sent to a secret facility in New Mexico for analysis. Donal would take his frustrations out on young Richard.

The years of mental and physical abuse severely corrupted Richard's mind. The episodes of molestation, in which he was forced to wear foam chicken feet, warped him beyond all recognition. To make matters worse, Richard had inherited his father's body odor and necrotic foot problems as well as his mother's dual-sexuality and weight problems. Despite all these problems, Richard was a quick thinker and an excellent study. He spent an increasing amount of time in his high-school's computer lab.

Richard immersed himself in the internet. He discovered newsgroups and IRC. It was here that he was in command. It was here that he met a series of lovers, including the dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an affair that lasted several years.

Eventually, Richard graduated from high-school at the age of 16. Though he graduated at a young age, his addiction to the computer room had not done much for his overall grades and his father could not afford to send Richard to college even if he had cared to. Richard wanted desperately to go away to college to finally escape his father's dictatorial abuses. He saw only one ticket to his dream.

Richard stole a video camera and VCR from the high- school's audio-visual club. He then arranged a rendezvous at a local hotel with the dean of MIT. Richard secured the hotel room early and set the video equipment up in an inconspicuous location, such that he could record the torrid sex that he knew would take place in the bed.

That evening's lovemaking session was especially passionate. Richard felt his womanhood blossom as the dean rubbed him down with a nonfat butter substitute. The dean rubbed Richard's feet, peeling away the layers of rancid flesh. They read and experimented from the Kama sutra, using exotic and mundane substances and objects. And it was all caught on video tape.

Richard went home the next morning and immediately made two duplicates of the steamy videotape. He wrote a formal letter to the dean, which he mailed along with a copy of the tape.

The dean was quick to agree to Richard's demands and the following autumn, Richard began his first, tuition- free semester at MIT. He left behind a copy of the sex-tape for his father who, upon viewing it, killed himself by plunging a heated butter knife into his chest.

Richard felt a heavy weight lifted from his shoulders. He cherished his new freedom more than anything. He grew to believe that freedom was the most important thing in the world. A principle he would later apply to his, and others, software.

Richard's free-ride wasn't just limited to tuition he was given a "job" which paid a lucrative salary and included free room and board. Any MIT official who dared question Richard's arrangement would get invited to a local hotel and, subsequently, would swiftly change their position.

Richard worked tirelessly on his free software. Soon, he released EMACS, free of charge (as in speech) to anyone who cared to download it. This raised the hair of certain MIT officials who believed that the software was rightfully the property of MIT. Of course, the magic hotel room changed their minds swiftly.

So, the next time you boot up your free (as in speech) linux operating system and run your free (as in speech) EMACS to write a free (as in speech) letter to an MIT official looking for a free (as in love) ride, just remember where it came from.

Good message (4, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409143)

"I think we can do that. I think that's a deliverable message."

And I know that money talks and bullshit walks. Unless we get some thick-walleted lobbyists on our side, the souless corporations will continue to turn innovation and invention into commodities - and Open Source and Free Software will remain terms that no one but the choir ever hears.

Re:Good message (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409233)

IBM sits three feet higher than anyone else due to the immense bulge in its wallet. Go talk to them.

Re:Good message (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409253)

IBM lobbies for itself, not for Open Source. That's just my opinion.

Re:Good message (5, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409736)

Or we get Instant Runoff Voting [fairvote.org] - and lobbyists lose the stranglehold they have on government (which only exists due our 'lesser of two evils' voting).

With IRV you could vote for an independent without being concerned that you might 'spoil' an election, or 'throw your vote away'.

More importantly, you could vote for different independent, if the previous independent turned out to not represent your views, or the values he advocated at election.

Imagine being able to support Perot without risking Clinton, or voting Nader without risking Bush.

Imagine being able to vote McCain 2k4 because Bush isn't nearly as conservative as you'd like.

Or being able to say 'screw Kerry, I'll support Kucinich even if he doesn't get the nomination' - and not having to worry about your vote giving power to Bush.

(indeed party nominations only exist to tone down the chances of 2 similar candidates spoiling the race and handing it to a 3rd party.)

Get IRV and lobbying won't work because a single vote will be enough to keep you from re-election - and lobbyists can't buy everyone.

Re:Good message (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409737)

And I know that money talks and bullshit walks. Unless we get some thick-walleted lobbyists on our side, the souless corporations will continue to turn innovation and invention into commodities - and Open Source and Free Software will remain terms that no one but the choir ever hears.

And the other souless corporations will continue to use the most cost effective solution, which is increasingly becoming open source.

This is what I love about the GPL. I think everyone can agree, given that a peice of software has been created, it is better for society if everyone to has access to it. The only issue at question is whether by limiting access to the software, we can provide necisarry means and motivation for more software to be written. I look at the GPL as an experiment - if copyright really does provide necissarry means and incentive to produce software then GPL'd software will never be as good as proprietary software, and will reamain on the sidelines. However if GPL'ed software does surpass and surplant proprietary software, then it is proof that there is enough means and motivation to produce software without the burden of copyright. This is increasingly showing itself to be the case.

The FSF focuses on the first issue, and think that the negative societal aspects of proprietary software are so bad that it doesn't matter whether copyright adds incentive or not, proprietary software is still intolerable.

The OSI focuses on the second issue, and think that the only important thing about free software is that it is better than proprietary software, and have provided usefull theories which help explain why this is the case.

But the real clincher is that both issues are true - that not only is software copyright harmfull, it is also unecissarry. It is for this reason that I agree with the FSF in treating it as an ethical situation, because while I am willing to put up with some "necissary evil", there is no reason to put up with proprietary software in the long run.

Can outsiders attend these lectures? (4, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409152)

I live in the Boston area, and would've liked to attend the last 2 SCO related lectures at Harvard [harvard.edu] (yes, Darryl's too, out of morbid curiousity).

Anybody from Harvard: Am I allowed to attend lectures without being part of Harvard? Are they public lectures? Can I obtain permission to attend them?

Being a recent grad student at a tech school, I know that school ID's are seldom checked at these occasions, but would like to know if it's against the rules or something.

Thank you.

Re:Can outsiders attend these lectures? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409211)

Who is Darryl?
Oh, did you mean Darl?
Ok, try it with me... D - A - R - L.
There you go.
DARL DARL DARL

Re:Can outsiders attend these lectures? (4, Informative)

The Pim (140414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409425)

The lectures were public. You should have come. (At least to Moglen's; I heard some people didn't feel well after McBride's.)

My favorite Quote (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409170)

There is no copyright license in the United States today more fitting to Thomas Jefferson's idea of copyright or indeed to the conception of copyright contained in Article 1 Section 8, than ours. For we are pursuing an attempt at the diffusion of knowledge and the useful arts which is already proving far more effective at diffusing knowledge than all of the profit-motivated proprietary software distribution being conducted by the grandest and best funded monopoly in the history of the world.

See the video version (5, Interesting)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409182)

This was a great speech. I watched the whole video of the lecture, which is in Real Media on this page [harvard.edu] . I viewed it with the Helix player; Real's player obivously works as well.

At about an hour in length, it was quite good. I really recommend it, because it puts both SCO and the things you hear Stallman say into very nice perspective, and shows how terribly confused Darl McBride really is. In particular you should watch for Moglen's description of the problems with using Eldred v. Ashcroft to support the odd notion that the GPL is unconstitutional. Darl doesn't realize it, but his argument indicates that he and the FSF are actually on the same side of that Supreme Court case.

Re:See the video version (3, Insightful)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409327)

Mplayer plays it too, but unfortunately it only seems to play with the Windows codec. I could be wrong, I didn't put too much effort into it, but this seemed to work: (remove any anti-lameness filter spaces in the URL of course)

mplayer -vc rv40win -playlist http://media.law.harvard.edu:8888/ramgen/jolt/spri ng_04/2004-02-23_ae_0630-0830.rm

The Flip Side (3, Interesting)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409201)

We need to keep reminding people that what's at stake here is free speech. We need to keep reminding people that what we're doing is trying to keep the freedom of ideas in the 21st century,

Does this mean that any piece of closed-source software is a threat fo Free Speech?

Are the store shelves that are stocked with closed-source games and applications threatening the world? The customers who buy them don't seem much to care.

Maybe some legislation is in order to free the source!!!!

Re:The Flip Side (4, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409377)

Does this mean that any piece of closed-source software is a threat fo (sic) Free Speech?

Is it, now, right this moment? I really don't know for certain.

Could it be in the future? You bet.

Keeping the source open pretty well ensures that the software I use only serves my purposes, not anyone elses.

Soko

Re:The Flip Side (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409466)

Maybe some legislation is in order to free the source!!!!

Please don't even talk about something that.

I know it's not an analogy, but the first thing that came to my mind was: "Maybe some legislation is in order to make people politically active".

It's about turning a fundamentally good thing one volunteers for into a compulsory duty.

Right to not remain silent. (4, Insightful)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409482)

My right to speak in no way infringes their right to remain silent. Those against open source itself, like the MPAA and SCO, are doing so because they don't like what is being said, as well as how it is being said. The MPAA doesn't want fair use rights, and SCO doesn't want a superior product for the X86.

The code at the bottom of this post is illegal under the DMCA. Its very illegality violates my right to free speech, because it's only legal so long as it's closed source. That's why this is about free speech, and that's why we must protect it.

It's not closed software that's the threat to free speech, it's the attacks that are being made upon open software. You have the right to remain silent, but please leave me my right to speak.

efdtt.c Author: Charles M. Hannum <root@ihack.net>
Thanks to Phil Carmody <fatphil@asdf.org> for additional tweaks.
Length: 434 bytes (excluding unnecessary newlines)
Usage is: cat title-key scrambled.vob | efdtt >clear.vob

#define m(i)(x[i]^s[i+84])<<
unsigned char x[5],y,s[2048];main(n){for(read(0,x,5);read(0,s,n= 2048);write(1,s ,n))if(s[y=s[13]%8+20]/16%4==1){int i=m(1)17^256+m(0)8,k=m(2)0,j=m(4)17^m(3)9^k
*2-k% 8^8,a=0,c=26;for(s[y]-=16;--c;j*=2)a=a*2^i&1, i=i/2^j&1<<24;for(j=127;++j<n ;c=c>y)c+=y=i^i/8^i>>4^i>>12,i=i>>8^y<<17,a^=a>>14 ,y=a^a*8^a<<6,a=a>>8^y<<9,k=s
[j],k="7Wo~'G_\216" [k&7]+2^"cr3sfw6v;*k+>/n."[k>>4 ]*2^k*257/8,s[j]=k^(k&k*2&34)
*6^c+~y;}}

Confusing the issue (3, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409220)

"It's free software, it's not open source"

I think if they want to make this message strongly they should keep it simple. Making the distinction between "free software" and "open source" will just confuse most members of the public. Isn't "open source" also about free speech? The same general principals apply don't they? Why do they have to confuse the issue?

Re:Confusing the issue (4, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409282)

"Free Software" exists to sell the idea of freedom. "Open Source" exists to sell the reality of freedom.

Re:Confusing the issue (5, Informative)

Communomancer (8024) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409347)

For those of you too "young" to remember, it was the "open source" advocates (Eric "ESR" Raymond leading the charge) that, imo, muddied the waters in the first place. The driving notion was that in order to find acceptance in the commercial marketplace (as if that were the holy grail we should all be shooting for), "Free Software" had to change its name and its image, because nobody whose job depended on it would ever use something that was "free". So, they created (and indeed trademarked) the moniker "Open Source Software".

I'm not saying that their methods were not in line with their goals (though I always had reservations about the goals themselves). Name makes a difference in the image. Which is exactly the point that Eben is making in his speech when he advocates not forgetting the "Free" part.

Re:Confusing the issue (2, Informative)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409392)

Obviously the transcriber messed up here. That should read, "It's Free software, it's not open source."

Obviously the transcriber has missed the point if Free doen't have the uppercase F.

Re:Confusing the issue (4, Interesting)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409438)

I think if they want to make this message strongly they should keep it simple. Making the distinction between "free software" and "open source" will just confuse most members of the public. Isn't "open source" also about free speech? The same general principals apply don't they? Why do they have to confuse the issue?

But they are defining the issue by contrasting those two terms. In a sense, "open source" advocates are doing as much to defend and reclaim our civil liberties as proprietary vendors.

Free Software is about making software work for communities, whereas Open Source is about development methodologies. By confusing the two you're sending people conflicting messages... we're about better development methodologies, and, oh, you get certain freedoms too.

In the light of Microsoft, SCO, the DMCA, the EUCD, software patents, the EUIPD and all the other recent examples of the abuse of technology I'd say that Eben Moglen and the Free Software Foundation are spot on in their approach.

Transcript is good (3, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409221)

but for anyone with the time, it is absolutely worth going to actually see and hear the speech itself. [harvard.edu]

Moglen is a treat to watch and hear; in an era of dismal public speakers he's a reminder that people once went to Court and campaign gatherings just to hear English rhetoric as a fine art.

Another great quote... (5, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409231)

... and one relevant to a much-debated topic here on slashdot.

Those of us who believe in the GNU GPL as a particularly valuable license to use believe in that because we think that there are other licenses which too weakly protect the commons and which are more amenable to a form of appropriation that might be ultimately destructive -- this is our concern with the freedoms presented, for example, by the BSD license

Moglen makes a very lucid explanation of why the apparently-more-free BSD license is less valuable to people who believe in freedom. He characterizes the the world of free software as a "self-healing commons", that cannot be appropriated, or destroyed, and points out that a BSD-style commons is much more vulnerable to being "proprietized".

The really interesting parts of his talk, though, were the bits about open hardware and radio spectrum, and their implications on technological free speech, and of course his extensive and detailed explanation of why he thinks the free software battle is essentially already won.

Even if you don't agree with him, Eben Moglen is a persuasive speaker with very deep and powerful ideas. Very well worth reading/listening to.

Copyrights must die because FS must live (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409247)

Thank You!!!!! and Amen !!!!
IMHO this is what all the other people (like Lessing) who want a compromize between the copyright lords and the information wants to be free crowd miss. That it's not about copyrights at all, it's about free speech. In the eyes of the internet there is no difference between copyright content, porn content, and free speech content. If you have someone in a position to restrict any information, you have someone in a position to restrict any information they disagree with - it's that simple.
I think in the end though, we will not be able to rely on the government to secure our free speech rights online. We're simply gonna half to do it in ourselves in defiance. We're gonna half to force an all or nothing proposition. A) Shut down the internet, B) have no controll over content online. So other than that, the internet is completely outside the governments juristiction.

Re:Copyrights must die because FS must live (3, Insightful)

brunosock (754057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409407)

Are you an anarchist? Idea's like this don't work because absolute freedoms don't truly exist. Free speech is relative to the rights of others. The government sets up restrictions so that one person doesn't infringe on the rights of another. I agree that sometimes the government does a horrible job at this, but seriously, we NEED someone to do something. -ie- I just made a porn website based on pictures of your mom without her permission. Hmm, no content control online, hmm.

Re:Copyrights must die because FS must live (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409667)

Alot of time we see the scientific world, and understand implicitly that existence is rational, and subject our values to repeatable, measurable, and observable criteria (scientific method) - but then all of a sudden when it comes to rights or freedoms, many of the very same people will think that everything is subjective, relative, and about opinion. Well, how can we have a rational argument with such people?

Look, if you don't believe in the same rights as I do then fine, make your point. But don't go off spewing this crap that everything is subjective.

PS: If you post pictures of my mom, I'll think you're a jerk, but other than that it's out of my controll. But if you stalk my mom to get them, then don't be supprised if I'm waiting in the dark shadows for your next visit!

Interesting (3, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409254)

If they really mean free as in freedom why don't they just call it that, "Freedom Software Foundation". Just to combat all the confusion about the multiple uses of the word 'free' in the EN-US language. Might also take a bit of the edge off the "terrorist" or "communist" coments directed at it. Although I think they actually would be more appropriately be called the "Software Freedom Foundation". That would require a change to their acronym but be closer to their intent of liberating software. I am in however in some disagreement on the "freeing of the spectrum". I think that if you removed regulation from that it would rapidly degenerate into anarchy ruled by nobody usable by nobody, e.g. bigest transmitter wins. You can have free bandwith on packet radio now under the current regulations. It is generally limitted bandwidth but that is the nature (physics if you want to be precise) of long distance low power radio. Another poster mentioned seeing bandwidth as a service like water or electricity. This is reasonable as the infrastructure (hardware) of the internet is not free. Being a radio node would probably not be as free as he envisions. Would you relay other peoples data? If you would not, would you expect someone else to? Somebody would have to relay packets and could charge a fee for the service (satelite internet service springs to mind as an example).

RICHARD STALLMAN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409272)

Richard M. Stallman, ubiquitously known as "RMS", is the Patron Saint of the "open source" movement. "Open Source" is a method of software distribution which implements a means of copy protection by not distributing the final program codes. Instead, the user must assemble this final "executive" code by hand, thus eliminating the need for the proprietary data which must be included in a company-distributed copy.

This is all fine and good, in theory, and the Open Source movement has garnered a vast following from across the untamed corners of the internet. In this essay, I will explore how Mr. Stallman came to embrace this movement.

RMS was born in Modesto, California and attended Berkeley University. This shouldn't surprise anyone, since Berkeley is the Liberal Hive of America and RMS is an admitted communist. RMS began his bizarre lifestyle while attending Berkeley, where he occupied the attic of a clock tower. This eccentricity continues today and RMS will not travel without a grandfather clock and a spitoon.

RMS' penchant for thievery was evident from the very beginning. His attic "apartment" was filled with equipment stolen from the Berkeley computer labs. This was quite an achievement in the early '70s, when any computer equipment was the size of a refrigerator.

RMS and his hacker friends cut class regularly, opting to spend their time and parent's money constructing illegal electronics devices designed to covertly access phone lines. The group of pirates would hack into the phone company, and charge enormous phone bills to unsuspecting Republican professors.

It was during this period that Stallman met Steve Jobs. RMS' technical savvy was far exceeded by that of Jobs and, never one to like being second-best, this caused him to pursue software hacking. RMS' hacking ability was innate and he and Jobs formed an alliance which would later result in the birth of Apple Computer.

Jobs' technical accumen was matched only by his ability to sell. He designed the internal electronics and outer package design of the first Apple, which was financed by Nolan Bushnell. He set RMS on to the task of developing the computer's "operating system" - a sequence of low-level MS-DOS commands which tell the computer how to decode program codes.

Though a gifted "coder", Stallman was quite lazy and didn't fare so well with the new operating system. His sloppy design and bloated codes were barely useable on the first microcomputer. Jobs dumped Stallman and hired John Wozniack to rewrite the internal operating system codes for the Apple I.

This situation didn't sit too well with RMS. Though he effectively dropped out of college, through non-attendance, he remained in the clock tower, unbeknownst to the faculty and administration of Berekely. His bizarre reclusiveness and tendency to "hack" only in the night kept him invisible to everyone, though rumors did circulate around campus about the "haunted clock-tower" and the deformed ghost that would occasionally appear, transluscent white, on top of the tower playing a magical flute.

Stallman grew sullen and withdrew into his own world in the clock tower. He watched as the joint Apple/Microsoft empire grew to become the computer industry and he vowed to topple it by undermining the livelyhood of his arch-rival Steve Jobs (and, by extension, Bill Gates) with his illegal offerings.

Stallman conspired with Linux Torvaledse, another Berkeley student, to create a hacker operating system which could be used to leverage the internet and wreak havoc on corporations everywhere. RMS even went so far as to use Microsoft's innovative GUI (Graphical User Implementation) which he had stolen from Microsoft's mainframe computer and given the hacker alias "X-Windows". Unfortunately, RMS was not able to acquire the latest Microsoft GUI codes and was thus forced to settle for an inferior version.

RMS' continued interest in communism provided him some insight as to how to spread his hacker tool across the internet. By stressing the free nature of the software, he would appeal to the welfare nature of the public.

This marketing scheme worked spectacularly. RMS' hacker tool is now installed on countless computers, hidden away in the dark bedrooms of LSD-using hacker teens.

But Stallman didn't foresee the desire of the consuming public for Quality software, as opposed to his lean, second-rate offerings. Not even a price of 0.00 could turn the general public to installing this unwieldy hacker tool known as "Red Hat Linux".

Today, RMS and his following, consisting mostly of unpopular teens who gravitate toward the cult-like group of pirate hackers, continue to sing the praises of their "operating system". Neglecting to mention that it violates current DMCA legislation. This "operating system" is primarily used to trade illegal hacker "warez" and music videos.

Popular music stars like Metallica have called RMS and his hacker tool, "the single greatest threat to artistic expression in the history of man." And Bill Gates has noted, "They are all thieves. They spend their time stealing instead of innovating."

My hope is that this short essay has opened your eyes to the illegal Open Source movement and will give you pause when you may be enticed into downloading it, virus-like, into your unsuspecting computer.

free/open ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409284)

But wait, I thought the FSF mantra used to be "open source, not free software" to spawn corporate adoption and to give the impression it has value and isn't a worthless giveaway. They're now reversing that to make a different point? they need a coherent message...

It's worth _listening_ to. (5, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409304)

Having listened to the speech, I assure 'yall it's much better listened to than read.

I've put together a BitTorrent share [quackerhead.com] with a Speex [speex.org] encoding of his speech. Please be gentle.

PocketPC developers take note (3, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409325)

We need to keep reminding people that what's at stake here is free speech. We need to keep reminding people that what we're doing is trying to keep the freedom of ideas in the 21st century, in a world where there are guys with little paste-it labels with price tags on it who would stick it on every idea on earth if it would make value for the shareholders.

Hear hear. Now can someone please point this out to the PocketPC developers out there? I got myself this new fangled PDA from Microsoft and the complete lack of GPL code out there for it is truely amazing.

There are plenty of applications, most of them are shockingly written but the developer has stuck it up on Handago with a tag of $15 in the hope that he/she can make a quick buck off it.

I, on the other hand, tried to garner interest in developing a simple framework to allow embedded visual basic programmers to create today plugins really easily. The idea was that the code to produce the today screen (which had to be eVC++) would be GPL and that the code for interfacing to it would be free (for use under any licence). Anyone who improved the protocol had to share it, but you didn't have to share the code for your own application if you really didn't want to.

Unfortunately I can't programme today screens (or evc++ for that matter) for toffee to I advertised for people to help me.

I had interest from 10 people - not one of them was interested in it being GPL. They would only agree to work with me on it if it was going to be sold and licenced to "approved" people. In short, they wanted to make money from something closed and hidden.

So what can I do? Learning eVC++ is not really an option unless people want to see something in 2010. Is there anywhere I can find good people who are willing to spread the GPL word in the PocketPC community?

Free Software? Nah. (1, Interesting)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409349)

We need to keep reminding people that what's at stake here is free speech. We need to keep reminding people that what we're doing is trying to keep the freedom of ideas in the 21st century, in a world where there are guys with little paste-it labels with price tags on it who would stick it on every idea on earth if it would make value for the shareholders

Funny... that would make one think that patents are the enemy here, not copyrights. Copyrights protect the embodiment of a single idea in a concrete form. Patents protect an idea which is a process of doing something.

Ergo, both of these guys are barking up the wrong tree.

Re:Free Software? Nah. (2, Insightful)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409518)

Funny... that would make one think that patents are the enemy here, not copyrights.

Try actually reading/listening to the speech. Moglen says precisely this. You are incredibly confused if you think any Free Software advocate considers copyright law their "enemy". The GPL fundamentally *depends* on the sanctity of copyrights.

Re:Free Software? Nah. (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409668)

Why don't you actually articulate an argument rather than restate definitions?

Eben Moglen, you sir are (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409365)

not even a blip on the radar screen. Not even a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon factorial on Trivial Pursuit. Take your hippie drivel someplace else you pompous blowhard.

Re:Eben Moglen, you sir are (0, Offtopic)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409424)

Alrighty.. This from an anonymous coward on Slashdot. How insightful.

Free as in "profit is evil", re: Stallman (0, Interesting)

NewIntellectual (444520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409411)

There is a deliberate obfuscation that leads to the legitimate confusion regarding Open Source vs. Free Software. That obfuscation was created by Richard Stallman.

Stallman's motives are not a secret. I own an old issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal that published a rant by Stallman which lays out his views in a completely unambiguous way; I really need to find it again so that I can post the exact reference when needed. In that rant, Stallman unambiguously made it clear that he considers making money from software to be *bad*, period. He suggests that it is flat out wrong for software companies to exist and that the world would be better served if, perhaps, a government agency wrote freely distributed software. He invokes Kant's philosophy explicitly to provide the so-called moral justification for this view; a philosophy which is utterly against personal gain of any sort.

The bottom line of intellectual property is this: The creator of that IP has an absolute moral right to determine how his property may be used. Some choose to (try to) sell that IP; if there is a market, so be it. Some have chosen to simply give it away; that is also their right. However, the secondary issue then remains: Are they doing so because they feel guilt about making a profit? Because "knowledge should be free"? If so, they are operating on a bad moral premise, the idea that profit is evil. Even if it's $1 for an entire operating system. (Note that Red Hat charges a lot more than that for support, but Linus Torvalds and others who created their product gets no compensation linked to those charges.)

The SCO legal action is bound to be used as a straw man to attack profit making with software IP. Their basis for claiming ownership of Linux is specious. The real issue, again, is whether the *creator* (or creators) of a piece of IP have the moral right to designate its usage. In other words, whether the products of the mind can be *property*. Grant that and the side by side existence of Microsoft with Open Source is no mystery and no problem. Attack that and you do attack the foundations of a civilized society, because you support the notion that "society" can freely steal from those who create.

Re:Free as in "profit is evil", re: Stallman (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8409577)

The bottom line of intellectual property is this: The creator of that IP has an absolute moral right to determine how his property may be used...Attack that and you do attack the foundations of a civilized society

That's a load of astonishingly ill-informed nonsense. The basis of intellectual property is the promotion of the creation of works that benefit society. To accomplish this, the government grants creators certain limited rights to control certain aspects of how their creations are used. You can read all about this (and nothing about your "absolute" "moral" claptrap) in the foundation of my civilized society, the U.S. Consitution.

Re:Free as in "profit is evil", re: Stallman (0, Flamebait)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409599)

This is absolutely correct analysis of Stallmans motives. The idea isn't to support "freedom", not to destroy the idea that software IP should be sold "for profit". This is very significant and should be considered carefully by those that presume to support the GPL. Stallman is a Marxist.

It is interesting to note that all the corporations that claim to support the concepts of the GPL keep their own bits of IP hidden away and locked up. However they do encourage you to keep donating your IP to the "community", since they are reaping millions in profits from that IP.

Re:Free as in "profit is evil", re: Stallman (5, Informative)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409623)

Stallman unambiguously made it clear that he considers making money from software to be *bad*, period.

It's very strange that you can't back this claim up, especially as Stallman and the FSF have made money by selling GNU software.

In fact, you can order GNU software directly from the FSF [fsf.org] right now.

In fact, why not read what the FSF have to say on the matter straight from their own website:

Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. [fsf.org]

Re:Free as in "profit is evil", re: Stallman (5, Informative)

ryants (310088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409679)

I really need to find it again so that I can post the exact reference when needed. In that rant, Stallman unambiguously made it clear that he considers making money from software to be *bad*, period.
I'll take this (Selling Free Software) [gnu.org] over your hazy recollections and rants any day.

We so desperately need a spokesman like this... (4, Interesting)

braddock (78796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409452)

There should be an inspiring spokesman like this at every Open Source convention. The community needs it.

Stallman has done a great service to the community by keeping this aspect of the movement alive. I have had direct correspondance with him multiple times and he has NEVER failed to personally write back with elaboration on a point or a rebuff to an argument. He must have spent the majority of every day for the past 25 years spreading the case for Free Software one person at a time like that without compromise, which is how he has achieved what he has achieved and deserves respect in the community regardless of personal wranglings.

However, Stallman is so marred with 25 years of personal politics that it is difficult for him to inspire. It never seems like he can quite decouple the ideals of freedom of expression from a certain "I _AM_ THE IDEALS, RECOGNIZE ME, the GPL is the ONLY way to go" attitude.

If the entire community can be inspired to the real ideals of Free Expression, than the GPL itself would almost be irrelevant. Stallman has used the GPL as the glue to keep the community together regardless of it's beliefs on the issue of free expression, but this needs to be seen as an entirely secondary issue.

I hope to at least see Eben Moglen and similar speakers invited to more software conferences.

Braddock Gaskill

If you want to give away your stuff .. fine... (1)

iggychaos (631769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409606)

I dont get all this.

If you want to write software and give it away, I have no problem with that.

If I want to write software and not give it away (and sell it), that should be my business.

Check out this article [tyma.com] .

If I try to sell it and no one buys it, sucks for me, but it doesnt affect you.

Feel free to give away all the software you want. Personally, if someone makes money off a program I wrote, I have no problem if I get paid for my work. But again - to each his own.

Ig

Re:If you want to give away your stuff .. fine... (0, Flamebait)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 10 years ago | (#8409709)

Comrade, you are morally bankrupt. Please report immediately to the nearest GNU reeducation center.

On your way to the center, repeat the following: "Our business is your business. Your business is our business."
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