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Slashdot: Richard M. Stallman Visits Teradyne

Aug 02, 2000, 23:43 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rene Hollan)

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"History was made on Tuesday, June 20, 2000. Accepting an invitation to speak on the subject, this was the first time that RMS gave a lecture on "The Use of Free Software In Commercial Applications" to a group of Teradyne Telecommunication Division employees in Deerfield, Illinois. Despite Teradyne's record of producing proprietary, patented software, the skies didn't darken, lightning didn't strike, a plague of locusts didn't descend and consume printouts of non-free code, and thunderous condemnations of immoral behavior didn't issue from RMS's lips. In general, a good time was had by all present. This is my record of the events that transpired."

"No doubt this report won't be well-received by those who would, for whatever reason, wish to portray RMS as some kind of unreasonable free-software lunatic zealot. Having had the privilege and good fortune to spend part of the 19th and 20th of June in his company, I can attest that such accusations are unfair and slanderous."

"Of course, that's exactly what one would expect an RMS sycophant to say. However, I am anything but a blind RMS groupie. We have our differences: while I think that it is essential that some software be free (particularly that which is socially ubiquitous, like internet infrastructure code), I don't think all software has to be free. If people accept increasingly restrictive licenses, that's their choice. Politically, I am a libertarian, and RMS admitted to me that he is a liberal. It's fair to say that we agree more than we disagree, but our few disagreements probably run deep."

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