Sun, 30 Apr 2006

Stallman Selling Autographs

OK, my respect for RMS just went up by about 100% (and it was already pretty high to begin with). Here's what he had to say about the brouhaha:

I believe that all software ethically must be free, free in the sense of respecting the users' freedom, but I don't believe that software must be gratis--nor services, such as autographing or posing. Rather, I believe people deserve the freedom to decide whether to do these things. So I decline to support the newly formed gratis autograph movement. Instead, I hereby launch the free autographing movement, which advocates everyone's freedom to sign autographs or not.

In other words, he restated what he's been saying all along: Free as in freedom, not free as in beer.


Sports stars, musicians, and other celebrities have been charging for autographs for years, but who would have thought Richard Stallman would be doing the same? Is this just for fun, or a clever, highly effective protest? Hackers, geeks and nerds gathered together at the 7th FISL - Internacional Free Software Forum, in Porto Alegre (Brazil) last week, were astounded when they got word that Richard Stallman, the founding father of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the GPL, was charging R$ 10 (about US$ 3) for an autograph and R$ 5 (less than US$ 2) to get his picture taken by free software enthusiasts at the event floor.

(link) [Slashdot]

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