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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, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @11:32PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @11:32PM (#1130485)

    How is it unethical to write software, sell it, and not give the source? Is it not mine to do as I choose? If someone pays for it because they see value in it to them is it not a fair exchange of goods or services for payment?

    Don’t like it, write a competitor and give it away for free, or STFU. But considering how much proprietary software is sold, most people are far more satisfied than with spyware Software as a Service that the GPL forces devs to do if they want to use GPL software without having to give out their modified source.

    You may feel that’s against the spirit of the GPL, in which case you clearly misunderstood it - it is a distribution license, not a use license. Blame Stallman for the blunder.

    Do you I call the cake baker, the pizza maker, and the restauaunter unethical when they don’t give you THEIR source - their lists of suppliers and recipes? I don’t think so. You might, in which case don’t eat it because you’re supposedly supporting someone you think is unethical.

    Stallman was a fool. Question is, who is the greater fool - him or his followers. Because it was his labeling people unethical for not giving away their work that is unethical. He didn’t care - he never actually earned a real living, spending his working years sleeping in offices or mooching a room here and there. How is being a smelly fat mooch for his whole working life ethical? He’s a useless bum, and he even looks lithe part.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @12:04AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @12:04AM (#1130499)

    How is it unethical to write software, sell it, and not give the source?

    Because although that personally benefits you, it harms society overall. We're in a society right now plagued by both proprietary software and SAASS (service as a software substitute). The end result is that the vast majority of people do not control their own computing, leaving them more open to being spied on and otherwise abused than they otherwise would. If they want to educate themselves about how the software they run works, they can't because it's proprietary. If they find out the proprietary software they've been trained to depend on spies on or abuses them in some way, it's far more difficult to get rid of it and no one can fork it in favor of a non-abusive version. Pizza can't spy on you or abuse you in the way that software can; that is a braindead false equivalence.

    Proprietary software is inherently antithetical to freedom, education, and independence. The general tendency of people to accept black box computing has harmed society immensely.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @05:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @05:38PM (#1130853)


      amazing how people used to complain when software automatically changed anything on your system, or a game company bundled in spyware with their product. These days most people have given up and shrug with a "whatcha gonna do" attitude. We need laws with teeth, trying to police and track all the various spyware is a losing battle and seems to rarely hurt company's bottom line anymore.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @10:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @10:53PM (#1130958)
      If you think all software is SaaS you’re an idiot. Shove your straw man argument where the sun don’t shine, or answer my points. Is it unethical for the pizza parlour to refuse to give you their recipe, are they unethical running a “pizza as a service “? Same with the baker - how is it unethical for them to keep their recipe secret and sell “baked bread as a service?”

      It’s basically the same thing.

      And if it’s unethical, when are you going to start giving away pizzas and bread for free?