Richard Stallman Looks Back at 25 Years of the GNU Project

“In Stallman’s estimation, free software has reached the state
where it is starting to be considered a serious alternative.
Unfortunately, he says, people ‘still consider proprietary software
as an alternative, too. In fact, most of them still use that. Even
most users of the GNU + Linux system still use proprietary
programs, because there are free software developers who don’t care
about the ethical ideals of free software. Probably they describe
themselves as open source supporters, and they let in non-free
software. They don’t see it as unacceptable. They see it purely as
a matter of what is convenient.’

For example, he cites the existence of drivers in the Linux
kernel that require proprietary firmware. ‘For a long time, I just
went on thinking that, even though Torvalds doesn’t agree with the
free software movement, at least we have a free kernel. But then I
found that proprietary firmware was being put into the source code
of Linux. So, in fact, Linux as released by Torvalds is not free


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