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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: 5, Interesting) by jbernardo on Sunday March 28 2021, @12:54PM (3 children)

    by jbernardo (300) on Sunday March 28 2021, @12:54PM (#1130289)

    On other news, Chris Wright kisses Google's ass from the inside, and tweets his (and dead rat's, presumably) approval for Google's new TPM control move - https://twitter.com/kernelcdub/status/1369733652754665481?s=19 [twitter.com]
    This "supply chain signing" will make sure that users no long will be able to run their own code, only corporations will be able to run code on our devices. Just unlocking a bootloader on an android phone will be enough for making it impossible to run any "approved code", without any chance this time for pesky user empowerment tools like magisk. And on PCs, well, you'll probably have to either run Windows, or systemd with full code path signing just to be able to get on the internet.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by helel on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:59PM (2 children)

    by helel (2949) on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:59PM (#1130322)

    The sad truth is that all of these app store restrictions and code signing are fundamentally good for most users. It's good for the companies because they get lock-in and a cut of everything sold on their devices, it's good for average users because they can download all the wallpaper apps they want without any risk of ransomware (it'll still cost them their privacy), and it's even good for allot of developers who have a centralized way to publish and monetize their software.

    The small percentage of us who either object on moral grounds or who are materially harmed by code signatures - Well I just hope we never get edged out entirely but it's clear the practice isn't going away...

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @12:19AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @12:19AM (#1130509)

      Software that doesn't respect your freedoms is inherently bad for users, regardless of any minor secondary benefits it might give them. This is especially true in the long term, as users come to depend on proprietary software and are locked in a virtual prison filled with it.

      Software that attacks your privacy is a form of malware by any useful definition of the term.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @11:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @11:33PM (#1131422)

        If too many users get “locked in”, that’s a market opportunity for competitors. One way is to keep the price low enough that competition can’t really make a profit competing. Another is to respond to the users needs, so they’re satisfied with the features/cost trade off.

        The cost of a proprietary operating system is far less than it was back in the 80s if you take into account inflation, and you’re getting far more for your money than you did then. And for most, open source is an example of something where free is too expensive, because it doesn’t do what the user wants.

        Free software just isn’t competitive, except when it’s locked into large companies that control how it’s used. They’ve put the money into what benefits them, and the rest is on the verge of becoming abandonware. Stallman has zero interest in fixing this, and the FSF can’t fix it.