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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: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @01:42AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29 2021, @01:42AM (#1130551)

    RMS created emacs, gcc, the GPL, the free software movement, among many other things. He could have worked anywhere he pleased (and he did).

    What have you accomplished besides trolling on the Internet?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @02:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30 2021, @02:47PM (#1131213)
    Gcc was so fucked up under his direction that he eventually had to abandon it and import EGCS as the “new” gcc. Why did this happen? He was too autocratic and the code went down a rabbit hole.

    And people were sharing code back in the 70s long before Stallman, so he didn’t “invent” it.

    emacs - tried it, found it stupid, went back to vi (vim wasn’t available back then on that architecture, if at all).

    The GPL - a license that discourages investment in software under that license, and we’ve seen how that played out. The average distro has repositories filled which abandonware. Way to go.

    That last point needs to be emphasized - the GPL leaves software to the not-so-tender mercies of their sponsors. Linux is a great example- now the direction is dictated by IBM/RedHat.

    And modified GPL software is running on servers, where there is no obligation to redistribute the modified source , because the GPL foolishly limited itself to being a distribution licence, whereas most copyright software covers both use and distribution. Use, by per-use fees, and by allowing the holder to be the sole decider as to how copies are made.

    Copyright was originally of a much shorter term, to allow creators a reasonable timeframe to profit from their work, after which it enters the public domain for the benefit of society. The GPL in effect breaks that model. A license with a shorter term before requiring source distribution (say 5 years) would have been far more intelligent. But Stallman is a libertarian, and was blind to alternatives to his personal agenda.

    10 years from now the average distro will still expend mst of its energy tinkering with the desktop, and the repos will be a decade older and even more populated with decrepit software.

    Same as the previous two decades. It’s all been downhill since the turn of the century.