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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: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:50PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:50PM (#1130319)

    To claim that Stallman is any sort of threat to the sale of proprietary software is absurd.

    Most of the GPL software in the average repository is abandonware. Nobody wants the shit games, as just one example.

    Core software like gcc being dropped for non-gnu clang/LLVM.

    And the simple fact that software software sales continue to smash records. Because GPL software can’t compete.

    The app stores alone are on track to do $100 billion again this year. That’s a LOT of propriety software. Not at all threatened by the likes of Stallman.

    Back to games - propriety games have outsold movies as entertainment for years. Again, not threatened by Stallman.

    Desktop operating systems? Microsoft and Apple, no threat from Stallman or the GPL.

    And look at the dominance and control Google exerts over supposedly open software like web browsers. And Android. And chrombooks. The GPL allowed Google to become the dominant player, so no threat from Stallman there.

    And IBM now controls the direction of Linux.

    So really, who is afraid of Stallman and the FSF now? Nobody. Totally irrelevant. Too bad, so sad, but this was always going to be the end game with a license that allows anyone to fork code and encourages fragmentation rather than coalescing around a few good projects. Stallman and the GPL are 100% to blame for their own irrelevance.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:54PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @02:54PM (#1130321)

    If it's so irrelevant, why are the usual crowd working so hard to gut the FSF and wear it as a skinsuit?

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @04:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @04:21PM (#1130344)
      The usual crowd? It was Stallman and the FSF board who made the stupid decision to bring the smelly fat can’t-get-a-fuck back on board. We’re just watching them self destruct. There’s much schadenfreude to be enjoyed by watching a bully get what’s coming to him.