Richard Stallman Quotes

Copyleft

 
Context
Stallman and others opposed copywriting of software and felt that computer programs were ideas and as such should not be able to be legally monopolized but they had to live with the law as it was. They started the open source software movement where many programmers developed software and made it freely available to the world. However, there were many companies who would take the free software which was very good, package it with their own brand and sell it. Stallman then created the copyleft concept. This meant that the open source programmers legally copyrighted the program and then created a license that anyone could have for free. But the license only gave them the right to use the software or give it freely to others. Charging money would be a copyright violation. So he and many others since used the copyright law to prevent others from interfering with or making money from distribution and Stallman named it “copyleft” meaning the other side of copyright. Thousands of major programs have been distributed this way. In some areas. It has been so successful that the free software became much more widely used than the products of Microsoft, Oracle or any of the other commercial software developers. Website development has become an example. Not only do many use it because the price is right but much of the open source free software is the best of breed. The Obama White House used a copyleft, free program for the White House website, not because they would save money—the Clinton White House had already licensed excellent commercial software. They chose the open source Drupal package because they thought it was the best available at any price.
Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman
  • Born: March 16, 1953
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Activist, Programmer

Richard Matthew Stallman, often known by his initials, RMS, is an American free software movement activist and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute and modify that software. Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.