Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Richard Stallman: Who controls your computer?

Green Party of the United States
Annual National Meeting, Reading, PA
Thursday evening program, July 12th, 2007
Washington Room
7:45 PM Doors Open
8:00 PM Program Begins

Who controls your computer?

Featuring Richard Stallman,
Founder of the Free Software Movement



Whoever controls the software in your computer controls what you can do
with it -- and what it does to you. There are two choices: free
software, controlled by the user community, and proprietary software,
controlled by a single developer (often a megacorporation).

Free software is democratic software, developed and controlled by its
users. You can change it yourself, or pay any programmer to change it
for you.

A proprietary program or system, such as MacOS or Microsoft Windows,
is under the sole control of the company that distributes it, and
subjects its users to the power of that company. Often these
companies use that power to spy on users or restrict them.

Our computers are essential for writing, communication, education, and
political activity. We must control our own computers, which means
we need free software.

Biography of Richard Stallman:

Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system
(http://www.gnu.org) in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the
freedom to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes
either large or small. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU
operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of
computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a
MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's
Pioneer award, the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, and
the Premio Extremadura al Conocimiento Libre, as well as several
honorary doctorates.

Quote from Stallman:

You have probably noticed that many Americans are uncomfortable talking
about right and wrong in political questions. It feels so much more
comfortable to change the subject to one of how to make progress. And
most people go with the flow--so the ethical issues get buried.

I founded the Free Software Movement as a movement for computer users'
freedom. (http://gnu.org/philosophy.) Many years later, people who
wanted to co-opt our work started calling it "open source" so that
they could cause our ideals to be forgotten. I support open source as
much as I support the Democratic Party.

If you care about freedom for computer users, please don't help amoral
businesses co-opt the Free Software Movement. Please call it "free
software". See

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