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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday March 28 2021, @05:23AM   Printer-friendly

Red Hat pulls Free Software Foundation funding over Richard Stallman's return:

The chorus of disapproval over Richard M Stallman, founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), rejoining the organisation has intensified as Linux giant Red Hat confirmed it was pulling funding.

Stallman announced he had returned to the FSF's Board of Directors last weekend – news that has not gone down well with all in the community and Red Hat is the latest to register its dismay.

CTO Chris Wright tweeted overnight: "I am really outraged by FSF's decision to reinstate RMS. At a moment in time where diversity and inclusion awareness is growing, this is a step backwards."

Describing itself as "appalled" at the return of Stallman to the FSF board of directors "considering the circumstances of Richard Stallman's original resignation in 2019," Red Hat said it decided to act.

"We are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Red Hat contributors have told us they no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or backed events, and we stand behind them," said Red Hat.

[...] Red Hat's step marks an escalation in the war of words over Stallman's return. As both a long-time donor and contributor of code, the IBM-owned company's action might well give the FSF pause for thought in a way that thousands of outraged tweets might not.

FSF president Geoffrey Knauth stated his intention yesterday "to resign as an FSF officer, director, and voting member as soon as there is a clear path for new leadership."

Red Hat statement about Richard Stallman's return to the Free Software Foundation board

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:00PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:00PM (#1130300)

    Microsoft's assistance is not necessary since Linux undermines itself with fragmentation. There are now 371 distributions listed on Distrowatch, which is 75 more than the number of genders recognized by the average SJW. If there were only two or three distributions Linux would own the desktop by now.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:14PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:14PM (#1130308)

    The fragmentation is an unintended but direct consequence of the GPL. And there’s no way of finding it, because anyone can fork any GPL program. I’m just surprised malware makers haven’t taken more advantage of it, because the existence of bugs in the kernel that have been sitting in plain site for 15 years disproves the claim that open source is more secure because anyone can look at the code.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @09:50PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @09:50PM (#1130457)

      It doesn't disprove that claim. It's possible for there to be bugs in the kernel in plain sight for 15 years and for Free Software to still be more secure than proprietary software in general. We don't know how many bugs there are in Windows and other proprietary software. Even if we do find one or several dozen, we're at the mercy of abusive companies like Microsoft to fix it.

      Also, "open source" is irrelevant. This is about RMS and Free Software, not "open source." Whether Free Software is more secure overall or not is a secondary question that's less important than user freedoms.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @11:45PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @11:45PM (#1130490)

        As a developer I care about MY freedoms. Same as anyone who makes things for a living, whether it’s the restaurant owner or the baker or the book writer or anyone else making something of value. Stallman doesn’t care about workers in any field because he spent his career as a homeless bum mooching couches and rooms off people.

        Tell your pizza guy he has to give you his recipe or he’s immoral and unethical, no pizza for you! Software is no different.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @04:10AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @04:10AM (#1131065)

          Nobody is forcing you to use the GPL for your own code. It is only when you modify or incorporate someone else's code released under the GPL that you have any obligations, and that is because you are using their work.

          A better comparison would be if you publish a spicy tomato sauce recipe with the condition that anyone using it must give the complete product recipe to their customers. Pizza Hut then starts using your sauce on their pizza. They could use their own sauce but yours is cheaper since they can get it in bulk. You order a pizza from them. Do they have to give you their dough recipe? They are using your sauce, so yes.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @02:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @02:03PM (#1131195)
            Why would I bother with using GPL software when I can use software that has greater freedom for me as a developer, both truly free (eg BSD) or proprietary? I pay the license fee for proprietary (which does a better job anyway) and I don’t have to listen to the whiners who say it’s somehow unethical. It’s not. I’m paying for what I want, and then I sell binaries the people buying them are paying for what they want.

            I don’t have to support it with ads that invade privacy, I have support from the manufacturers because they have a financial incentive to keep their clients happy, same as I do. It’s the same deal when you go to the store and buy a bicycle, a book, a box of doughnuts, or a coffee. Both parties are involved in an exchange of goods or services for a consideration - money.

            Same as the plumber who changes a faucet isn’t required to give you instructions on how he did it if you ask - you want a course in plumbing, pay for it or do your own research. All he or she is obligated to do is change the damn faucet. And if you insist on hovering over their shoulders watching then your bill will be doubled, because plumbers don’t like people acting like spyware either.

            You get what you pay for. With the GPL, increasingly, that’s not much. Go look at all the dead software sitting in the average distro. Gaming is a failure. Assistive technologies - pre-Windows 3.1 levels. Comprehensive packages of utilities? Still behind DOS era PC-Tools 5. And if you complain, the answer is simple - it’s open source - you fix it.

            But nobody fixes it because (1) there’s way too much to fix, and (2) it’s easier to pay for stuff that actually works - you know, a fair trade?

            Are you against fair trade between consenting adults?

            Businesses that support themselves by such fair trade also support their clients. No “”fix it yourself or GTFO” - that would be economic suicide.

            If the FSF is dependent on support from sponsors like RedHat, that’s their problem. Too bad they can’t support their independence by, say, selling software. Same as all the old software in the repos can’t support their developers making it better. It’s an economic dead end.

            And because of the GPL, there’s no way to fix it. So sad, too bad, you drank deeply of the purple flavor-aide.

            Dumb ass, dumb ass,
            whatcha gonna do,
            dumb ass dumb ass,
            when sponsors say fuck you?

            Ain’t fragmentation a bitch?