LinuxWorld: Linux, GNU, and Freedom
May 20, 2002, 20:30 (73 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Stallman)
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"Since Joe Barr's article criticized my dealings with SIGLINUX,
I would like to set the record straight about what actually
occurred, and state my reasons.
"When SIGLINUX invited me to speak, it was a 'Linux User Group';
that is, a group for users of the GNU/Linux system which calls the
whole system 'Linux'. So I replied politely that if they'd like
someone from the GNU Project to give a speech for them, they ought
to treat the GNU Project right, and call the system 'GNU/Linux'.
The system is a variant of GNU, and the GNU Project is its
principal developer, so social convention says to call it by the
name we chose. Unless there are powerful reasons for an exception,
I usually decline to give speeches for organizations that won't
give GNU proper credit in this way. I respect their freedom of
speech, but I also have the freedom not to give a speech.
"Subsequently, Jeff Strunk of SIGLINUX tried to change the
group's policy, and asked the FSF to list his group in our page of
GNU/Linux user groups. Our webmaster told him that we would not
list it under the name 'SIGLINUX' because that name implies that
the group is about Linux. Strunk proposed to change the name to
'SIGFREE', and our webmaster agreed that would be fine. (Barr's
article said we rejected this proposal.) However, the group
ultimately decided to stay with 'SIGLINUX'..."