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)
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"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..."