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Slashdot: Thus Spake Stallman

May 01, 2000, 22:17 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard M. Stallman)

"Q: Lets assume for a moment that free software becomes the way business happens. Every company, if it wants to keep shareholder value anyway, opens up the source, makes their softwre free. What's next? Where do you go from there? What do you do for an encore? Or is that the "end of the war" and at that point, GPL protecting our freedoms, you go back to coding?"

"RMS: Non-free software is not the world's only problem. I undertook to work on this problem because (1) it dropped in my lap (I could not be neutral except by leaving my field), (2) I had an idea for how I could tackle it effectively, and (3) nobody else was even working on it."

"It's clear that other problems such as religious fundamentalism, overpopulation, damage to the environment, and the domination of business over government, science, thought, and society, are much bigger than non-free software. But many other people are already working on them, and I don't have any great aptitude or ideas for how to address them. So it seems best for me to keep working on the issue of free software. Besides, free software does counter one aspect of business domination of society."

"If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world's larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it. I could volunteer my time to the ACLU, Amnesty International, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, or ZPG, if I'm of any use to them."

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