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NewsForge: The Free Software Community After 20 Years: With Great But Incomplete Success, What Now?

Jan 05, 2004, 16:00 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Stallman)

"It was twenty years ago today that I quit my job at MIT to begin developing a free software operating system, GNU. While we have never released a complete GNU system suitable for production use, a variant of the GNU system is now used by tens of millions of people who mostly are not aware it is such. Free software does not mean 'gratis;' it means that users are free to run the program, study the source code, change it, and redistribute it either with or without changes, either gratis or for a fee.

"My hope was that a free operating system would open a path to escape forever from the system of subjugation which is proprietary software. I had experienced the ugliness of the way of life that non-free software imposes on its users, and I was determined to escape and give others a way to escape..."

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