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GNU-Friends: Brett Smith Writes Open Letter about Free Software

Apr 29, 2002, 23:30 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brett Smith)

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"I am a student learning computer science at the University of Kentucky. One of the courses required for this major requires that I use proprietary software. I am ethically opposed to the use of such software. All semester (until now), I have cordially and non-confrontationally asked that these beliefs be respected. I have been ignored. My grade has begun to suffer as a result. I am writing now to bring my case to the attention of my entire computer science department. Others, like the award-winning computer scientist, Richard Stallman, have explained at length why one should take an ethical stance for software freedom; I will not restate such arguments here. I do, however, encourage readers who are not familiar with these arguments to read The GNU Project's and the Free Software Foundation's philosophy page (at

"As I have made my case privately to various faculty in my department, several challenges have been offered to suggest why I cannot reasonably expect to go through required major courses without using proprietary software..."

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